N o . 13
raising the barre
An inside look at ballet
Let's Call Bullshit
To your (Mental) Health
46 issue N o . 12
CAPILANO Courier TABLE OF contents news
The Staff 4
of this ballin' university newspaper JJ Brewis Editor-in-Chief
B.C. cares about your cards
Off to Cool-ifornia
Giles Roy Managing Editor
Samantha Thompson Copy Editor
Lindsay Howe News Editor
Leah Scheitel Opinions Editor
Natalie Corbo Features Editor
Celina Kurz Arts Editor
Lights out â€“ Let's DANCE
Let's make a date
Scott Moraes Caboose Editor
Stefan Tosheff Production Manager
Katie So Art Director
Andy Rice Staff Writer
Connor Thorpe Staff Writer
H-E-double hockey sticks
The award-winning fiction series continues Ricky Bao Business Manager
the capilano courier
46 issue N o . 13
The Capilano Courier is an autonomous, democratically run student newspaper. Literary and visual submissions are welcomed. All submissions are subject to editing for brevity, taste, and legality. The Capilano Courier will not publish material deemed by the collective to exhibit sexism, racism or homophobia. The views expressed by the contributing writers are not necessarily those of the Capilano Courier Publishing Society.
Shannon Elliott Web Editor
Colin Spensley Distribution Manager
Leanne Kriz Ads & Events Manager
× Letter from the editor ×
NO PLACE LIKE HOME × ON the Cover ×
× Editor-in-Chief “The Scarecrow listened carefully, and said, ‘I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, grey place you call Kansas.’ ‘That is because you have no brains,’ answered the girl. ‘No matter how dreary and grey our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.’” The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
Katie So is on a lot of our covers, becuase she's the Art Director and none of us can tell her not to. katie.so
Peter Pawlowski spends his spare time the same way most of us do. “I like to practice my ‘making it rain’ skills with Communist-era Polish currency bills.” A recent graduate of SFU’s Communications program and a former Capilano student, Peter is presently living the dream as a freelance photographer. Peter is a fan of nachos “dripping with cheese and guac,” Bela Tarr films that “really test your patience and sanity” and A$AP Rocky’s mixtape. When he’s not downing a gin and soda (his fave beverage) or jaunting off to his favourite city, Berlin, Peter takes the odd photo for the Courier and other publications. “Now that I’m out of school, I have to sort of invent new passions,” he says. Peter invites you to creep him (his words, not ours) at Peterpawlowski.net.
It is said you can never go home again. As someone who hasn’t visited my hometown in over half a decade, I’d say I have to agree. The idea of going back and seeing my since-knocked-down high school and the drive-in theatre that became a Wal-Mart is ultimately depressing even in concept: I’m not sure I need to go back and visually expose myself to these changes. But that isn’t my home anymore. This year marks my 10th anniversary of being a Vancouverite. But it didn’t take me long to feel like this place was my home. Despite spending my entire life in the same small hometown, upon my decision to move to Vancouver, it became my home almost immediately. Human beings are, ultimately, creatures of comfort, and the object of a home exists in different ways to many of us – but ultimately it is a place of refuge or residence. In short, home is where you keep your clothes and where your subscription of GQ gets delivered every month. But as much as I love Vancouver and love being home, I’m no different than anyone else in that I love to get the fuck out as often as I can. Last week, the staff of the Capilano Courier went to Toronto for the Canadian University Press’ annual national conference on student journalism. We went a little early to Toronto to take in the city a few days before the conference had started – few of us had been before, and wanted to get all of the sight-seeing and shopping at pretentious hotel boutique shops out of the way before we hunkered down for five solid days to learn. Travelling is one of my absolute favourite things in the world. I love going new places and experiencing things I’ve never been exposed to, orienting myself in a new city, and finding my favourite coffee shops, neighbourhoods and aspects of each place I visit. To me the best trips are the ones where you feel so far removed from the comfort of your own home. What’s the point in travel if you feel like the place you’re visiting is essentially a carbon copy of where you’re coming from? Though Toronto is a Canadian city, it offered a lot of variances and aspects that made me feel like I was, indeed, visiting somewhere new. The concrete jungle of Toronto is a far cry from that of Vancouver. The castle-plenty University of Toronto campus recalls that of a certain
THE VOICE BOX
wizarding book series. Despite it being early January, the city had more than a handful of arts and entertainment options happening any night of the week. In the course of a week, I witnessed paintings by Frida Kahlo, went to a talk at Toronto International Film Festival’s Lightbox Theatre by Canadian film icon Sarah Polley, and visited my favourite artist, Kris Knight, at his studio. Certain opportunities like these aren’t necessarily available to us Vancouverites in such a plentiful bounty. I took in as much as I could while I was there, thankful for the opportunity, and a little sad at the idea of going home to “little ol’” Vancouver. As an avid lover of arts and culture, how could I look back now? But the longer we stayed, the more I missed certain things about Vancouver. As much as I am notorious for my berating on TransLink, the Toronto transit system was all the more confusing, unreliable, and filthy. There were moments I wished to be back on that glorious silver steed of a SkyTrain. Travelling is great, but I started craving my own creature comforts, like food not created in a hotel kitchen, or the ability to not have to run up to the pool every time I needed to go to the bathroom. Two days after we got home, our Opinions editor Leah and I went out for sushi on a break between classes. Halfway through my first piece of avocado roll, I closed my eyes and realized how good it tasted. “Holy shit, this is so good!” I said. And then I realized it was just so good because I missed it. As someone who downs sushi twice or more per week on average, even a good 10 days away was enough time to make me seriously appreciate something that I usually consume so often I take it completely for granted. And maybe that’s what I do a lot of the time with Vancouver in general. I’m so busy dreaming of bigger and better things that I forget about all the wonderful opportunities and assets of Vancouver in general. For what Toronto had in arts, opportunity and population, they lack in other things. Trees, for one. As much as I enjoyed my time in Toronto, there really was no greater feeling in the world than coming into my own room, throwing my suitcase on the floor and crawling under the covers of my own bed. The conference itself was a success. Luminaries like Amanda Lang gave keynotes on topics such as the queries of social learning. Esquire writer Chris Jones, who stands out as one of the session leaders, gave a heartfelt talk on investigative journalism while running his audience through an audio recording of one of his most personal, private interviews. At the annual John H. MacDonald awards for student journalism, our own Fiction and Humour Editor Scott Moraes won the award for “Best Humour Writing,” which was caused the over-excited Courier staff to stand on our chairs, chant his name, and give a satanic-like devil fingered salute to our award winning colleague. That’s a different kind of homecoming altogether.
Featuring: giles Roy
The Voicebox gives you the chance to have your opinion heard, no matter how irrelevant or uninformed. Just send a text message to (778) 235-7835 to anonymously “voice” your “thoughts” on any “subject.” Then, as long as it’s not too offensive, we’ll publish it! It’s a win-win-win, unless you’re a loser.
your own using common school supplies. All you need is a sharpie, Post-It notes and some glue.
“Hi, we came to school at 8:30 a.m. Got in five minutes late, caused a raucous, but it turns out we were given a wrong schedule and don't have class till 4 p.m. Who do we stone on this particular occasion? Joy fucking footage.”
Thanks? I can’t tell if you are pro-Disney or not. If you are: you can thank Samantha Thompson and JJ Brewis. If you aren’t: Sorry, we don’t know what you’re talking about.
I have no idea, but I’m putting this entry first on the off-chance that some CapU administrative-type is reading the Voicebox. You admins really goofed up! Apologize.
“What’s with all the Disney stuff in the calendar every week? Keep up the good work?”
“You gotta do the dixie dooda cause without it you're going to eat shit and finger your own ass for a long time” Noted.
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“It’s bullshit that the TransLink fares went up. That is all.”
“Why is it that there are free condoms available in the CSU but tampons cost money in the bathrooms? One of these things is not an emergency!” Tampons are easy to find, plus (and I present the following to you with the concession that I do not have a vagina) it’s pretty easy to make
This is an expert of a 650-word series of incomprehensible texts the Voicebox received towards the end of 2012. This person is going through some pretty private emotional turmoil that I won’t publish, but I just want them to know, whoever they are, that we heard them. We support you, pal! Keep your head up, and thanks for reading.
46 issue N o . 13
I also think that it’s bullshit. Twins!
“It‘s funy in the back ov. the cap courier i read ov the. BAD BOYFRIEND BUT WAT ABOUT.THE MEAN F***ING GERL FRIEND‘S. BUT DONT GET ME WRONG WE JUST WANT LOVE RYT (LMFAO) SUMONE I THINK HAD TO SAY SUMTHING? YA”
Carlo Javier is a big fan of Anchor Man and Frank Ocean. But he's no stranger to guilty pleasures. “I secretly like One Direction,” he says. “In high school, I went to a girl's classroom, and held up a light up sign that said 'Will you light up my grad like nobody else?’” A first year Political Studies student here at Capilano, Carlo also spends his time as a crew trainer at McDonald's, as well as organizing a fantasy basketball league. Despite his love for cappuccino ice cream and sushi, Carlo is willing to boldly go where few Courier contributors have gone before: “I ate some snakes and scorpions this spring when I was in China,” he says. Carlo has quickly become one of the keenest writers here on campus, bringing with him a high school journalism pedigree, the Frank Shepherd Award. Follow Carlo on Twitter @MrCarloJavier.
By JJ Brewis
News Editor ×
Lindsay Howe × n e w s @ c a p i l a n o c o u r i e r . c o m
call crash Handheld devices still a cause of car accidents, despite the ban Andy Rice × Staff Writer A recent incident involving distracted driving on the North Shore has served as a wake-up call for a larger issue. On Jan. 10, a 70-year-old man was severely injured after being struck as he walked along a sidewalk on Mount Seymour Parkway near Emerson Way. Witnesses reported that the 19-year-old female driver had been using an iPhone or an iPod at the time her Honda Civic veered off the road. She has since been charged under the Motor Vehicle Act with driving with undue care and attention as well as driving while using an electronic device. In a press release the following day, RCMP Cpl. Richard De Jong stressed the importance of maintaining complete focus while operating a vehicle. “The consequences of a moment’s lapse in judgment can literally make the difference of life and death for someone,” read the statement. “It’s not worth the risk.” Yet, many people take that risk each and every day. Distracted driving is responsible for one quarter of all car crash fatalities in B.C. and according to Vancouver police, distracted driving is the foremost contributor to fatal vehicle crashes in the Greater Vancouver area. Young people are the most likely to cause these types of accidents, bearing a borderline-obsession with electronic gadgetry that undoubtedly contributes to this statistic.
A British Columbia-wide ban on handheld electronic communication devices, cell phone use and text messaging while operating a motor vehicle has been in effect since Jan. 1, 2010. While some have made an effort to fully comply, others seem to prefer their own interpretation of the law’s parameters, risking not only the $167 fine but their own safety and that of others as well. “I see all these people on the road who don’t know how to drive and texting makes them even worse,” says Leo Bae, a music student at Capilano University, admitting that while he believes texting while driving to be dangerous, he has done so on several occasions in the past. “I sometimes do that and I’ve missed the light and people have honked at me, or sometimes I see a left turn only sign and I go because I’m not paying attention.” For Kat Savard, another Capilano University student, it depends on the situation. “If the car is in any kind of motion I definitely feel that no, looking at your phone or talking on it is not good,” she says. “If you’re at a stop sign and just noticed an alarm go off or you just want to glance down and see what that alarm was, then maybe that’s okay.” But what about drinking while driving versus texting while driving? Both are dangerous and illegal but somehow the same stigma towards operating a vehicle under the influence hasn’t yet crossed over when it comes to using a cell phone behind the wheel. Bae and Savard say they both believe the two to be equally dangerous. “I actually don’t
differentiate between them,” says Savard. “It’s just the same across the board for me.” In terms of individual lives saved, the success of the British Columbia’s distracted driving law remains to be seen. Regional statistics show various stages of effectiveness, or lack thereof, depending on the area. In a recent statement, even B.C.’s superintendent of motor vehicles, Steve Martin, hesitated at providing exact numbers. Instead, he emphasized the long-term nature of the problem at hand, calling distracted driving an “ingrained behavior” and recognizing that cell phone use is a habit that may take some time to train out of people. “Just as it took time to change public attitudes about wearing seatbelts and driving sober, it will take time for people to realize the danger they pose
to themselves and other road users when they drive distracted,” says Martin in an email to the Courier. “At the end of the day, people need to change their behaviour. Government has done its part, now we need drivers to do their part.” Between 2011 and 2012, the number of tickets given for distracted driving increased by approximately 30 per cent and over the recent holiday season alone, authorities fined more than 1,400 motorists for driving with some kind of distraction. “That tells us that police are targeting these drivers and enforcing the law,” says Martin. “We have every confidence this law is working. We’re not ready to consider any changes to the legislation at this time.” ×× peter pawlowski
No Way Out Student debt – what students are doing to get out of it Christina Lamanes
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46 issue N o . 13
As if the pressure of looming paper deadlines, exams and the omnipresent threat of a declining GPA wasn’t enough, student debt in Canada is at an all time high. In a recent media release made by the Canadian Federation of Students, Canada student loan debt is at a staggering $15 billion. In a survey done by Malatest and Associates, one in four people not currently enrolled in postsecondary education said the reason for their opting out of school was due to financial issues. Not only is this debt affecting our finances but it’s our academic performance as well. According to the aforementioned media release, program completion rate decreased from 59 per cent to eight per cent for those who had loans but no grants. The National Chairperson for the CFS, Adam Awad explains, “That’s one thing we’re working the government on is redirecting funds from the tax credits, dollar for dollar over to grants. Last year the tax credits received $2.5 billion and $2.3 billion worth of loans were given out, so it’s not that much difference.” The CFS media release also highlights the importance that prospective debt is having on students’ career choices. Students are making changes to seek higher paying jobs rather than following their chosen career path. For example, the CFS stated that medical and law students who are faced with unregulated tuition fees have been shying away from family practice, and pro bono work.
This shift in career choice in turn will change those industries, and effectively, the landscape of the private and public sector. The impact on individuals that are choosing careers based on financial need are also going to be less satisfied with their job. In Canada, students are getting to a place where bankruptcy is being considered as a possible solution. Awad comments, “Tuition rates are at such a point where students are actually considering bankruptcy as an option, which if you talk to anyone in finance, they think that’s crazy.” As clearly stated online, by the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy Canada, former students who find themselves at the point of no return, will see that student loan debts are only “eligible for discharge” seven years after the end of studies (as determined by the date applicable on your Canada Student Loan). It’s not all doom and gloom for students in debt, as there is the Repayment Assistance Plan for those out of school and paying off student loans. Awad says, “We’ve seen a huge uptake in numbers of that program, about 20,000 just from June to September of last year. The government will cover all or part of the debt owed.” The government website declares that, “The Plan makes it easier for student loan borrowers to manage their student loans by allowing them to pay back only what they can reasonably afford.” The Repayment Assistance Plan has two stages, which aids borrowers in repaying their loans over a maximum of 15 years. Stage one of the repayment plan relieves the debtor of the interest amount for up to five years. If
borrowers have extended financial troubles and have completed stage one, they may progress to stage two in which the government still covers interest payments but also some of the principal loan ensuring the entire debt will be paid off after 15 years (from the end of studies). Take caution and read the fine print here, borrowers must not be able to make the required payments as decided by Canada Student Loans. As well, anyone enrolled in the Repayment Assistance Plan must re-apply every six months. However, the Plan does see that loan payments are no more than 20 per cent of the borrower’s gross income.
Unfortunately for Canadian students, the forecast after graduation looks stormy: getting a university education used to be considered an asset, a means to creating financial stability. Right now, it’s starting to look like a huge liability not only to academic achievements and sanity but also to their future professional and financial success.
×× peter pawlowski
NO MORE BULLSHIT Canadian campaign tackles negative attitudes towards mental health Connor Thorpe × Staff Writer
“My sister receives financial support because she never attempted suicide,” reads one of the tiles on the wall. There are over a dozen of them, the words shifting every few moments. Another focuses into view. “Thought about ending my life four times today.” The people are real, the stories are real, and the wall is alive. The tiles form “The BS Wall” – an amalgamation of the statements collected for the Let’s Call BS campaign, which aims to reduce the prevalence of damaging and demeaning attitudes towards mental health in Canada, with the eventual goal of spurring palpable change in the systemic support available for Canadian youth. The format of the Let’s Call BS website allows visitors to contribute a short sentence and to then stylize the words in accordance to the campaign’s aesthetic. The sentences – which reveal brief vignettes about personal struggles with mental health issues, offerings of support, and criticisms about the societal approach to mental health care – are then placed on the wall. Visitors to the website are also able to submit a “declaration,” which serves as a formal show of support for the campaign and its values. “We’re challenging young people to call BS on common perceptions and practices that exist today around youth mental health that quite frankly are unacceptable, like the fact that we don’t talk openly about mental health, how we act as if it’s not our issue, the fact that we judge people who are living with a mental illness who can’t seem to get it together,” says Jeff Moat, who heads the campaign. “It’s a chance for people to identify, and sympathize and to create some solidarity around mental health.” Over 20,000 people have submitted declarations and 10,000 have submitted personal stories to the BS Wall since the launch of the campaign in
October, a result that Moat describes as “a strong testament to how youth are feeling about the lack of support in this area.” While the campaign is making significant steps in diminishing the stigmatization of mental health, Moat believes that meaningful action will only come through persistence. “The only way we’re really going to see true systemic change – or transformative change, as we call it – is to amass tens of thousands of declarations and build an army of supporters to ultimately put pressure in the right areas so that our elected officials will ultimately start to do the things to better support mental health for young people.” The impact of the epidemic misinformation surrounding mental health among youth and the general population can be hard to understand without experiencing mental health issues first hand, Moat explains. “What we asked people to do was to recognize the fact that we’ve all had days that we’re not ourselves. You either wake up not feeling one hundred percent – you know, we describe it in different ways, don’t we? We say we’re not firing on all cylinders, or we’re having an off day, or I’m just not doing that great – but we tend to ignore that feeling, we tend to bury it, we tend to suppress it. We soldier on and we go into school or we go into work and we’re just feeling crappy, or depressed, or lonely, or stressed, or empty,” he says. “And if you’ve had a day like that…imagine what
it must be like for someone that experiences that day in, day out, week in, week out, at a much, much greater magnitude and also face the lack of support and the discrimination.” The terminology associated with the campaign is indicative of the frustration felt by advocates of improved support for mental health in Canada. An army is being raised to call bullshit on societal norms that have largely ignored the lack of mental health support as a pressing issue that needs to be met with serious and immediate change. “This is something that we need to get behind as a society. If we’re really going to see true change, we need to come together as a country of individuals and say enough is enough,” Moat continues. “We did it for breast cancer, we did it for the gay and lesbian movement, we did it for HIV/AIDS, and we did it for civil rights in the sixties. We need to do it for mental health.” Time will tell what the lasting impact of Let’s Call BS and campaigns similar to it will be. Until then, the battle rages on. To get involved with Let’s Call BS, visit Callbs.ca or contact Sean Stewart, the CSU Students with Disabilities’ Liaison, at abilities@csu. bc.ca. Stewart also holds office hours from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays at the Treehouse, in the Library building.
LET’S CALL BS AT CAPILANO
Connor Thorrpe × Staff Writer
Sean Stewart, the CSU Students with Disabilities’ Liaison, is heading Capilano’s involvement in the Let’s Call BS campaign. Since late December, Stewart has collected 120 declarations and plans to continue doing so for as long as possible. Stewart and the Capilano Students with Disabilities committee will also be hosting a talk about bipolar disorder on Feb. 19. Screenings of the films Not Just a Bad Day and Family Matters – which also concern bipolar disorder – will take place in the days surrounding the talk. Check Csu.bc.ca/calendar for details.
×× cheryl swan
B.C. CARE CARD BECOMES OBSOLETE Implementation of new B.C. Services Card causing concern Mike Conway × Writer
46 issue N o . 13
Development and Economic Security of British Columbia, explains that his party didn’t oppose the creation of the new card, rather, they opposed the manner in which it was created. “The Systems Card in itself is a good idea, and necessary considering the age of the current system, and the present problems of fraud in our medical system. However, from the very beginning the BC Government has failed to communicate properly, including to the public, just what exactly this new card entails.” Farnworth continues, “Considering that the card is being released today, costs $150 million, and represents a major overhaul of the system, nobody really knows anything about it. If the B.C. Liberals spent even some of the $15 million they spent on advertising their jobs campaign on advertising this, maybe people would know a little more about it. In regards to privacy, again, the government has failed to explain just how exactly they will protect people's information once it’s all in one place.” Farnworth concluded by explaining that the timing of the new card has been poorly planned, particularly if problems arise, because of the possibility of those problems being passed on to a new, non-Liberal government, following the May election.
Integrated Case Management System, another major component of the government’s data linking plans, blew up so spectacularly last year. The government said it had hired consultants to review what went wrong, but no report has come of that plan yet – or at least not a public one.” The price tag for the card is $50 million more than initially estimated by Mike de Jong, B.C. Liberal Health minister in 2011, bringing the total cost to around $150 million over a five year period. Both the NDP and Conservative parties of British Columbia have voiced opposition to how the Liberal government has handled both the current CareCard system, and the creation of the new one. In 2011, John Cummins, leader of the B.C. Conservative Party, said in a written statement that the new cards are a result of the B.C. Liberal “incompetence,” and that a full review should be done on the handling of the current CareCard system, because, says Cummins, “The Ministry of Health is issuing out more than 40,000 new CareCards a month – that's more than 120,000 since Christy Clark became premier. This Liberal incompetence is costing millions because old cards can be used to defraud our health care system.” While criticism from opposing political parties is expected when implementing a new, expensive program province-wide, B.C. New Democrat Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Social
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As of Feb. 15, the British Columbian CareCard will begin to be replaced by the multi-purposed B.C. Services Card. The new card will feature a security chip, photo ID, and a five-year expiry date, where upon it will need to be renewed at a local Driver Services Centre, just like a driver’s license. In order to streamline government information, while also making it more convenient for B.C. residents, the card can be integrated into B.C. residents’ driver’s licences or acquired separately at no additional cost. However, the new card will be mandatory when using the medical system. The B.C. Liberal government is replacing the CareCard with the Services Card in order to better utilize modern technologies, security features, and information systems. “The current CareCard was introduced in 1989 and has not been significantly updated over the last 20 years,” says Ryan Jabs, Media Relations Manager for the Ministry of Health, in a Jan. 7 government news release. “The new B.C. Services Card takes advantage of significant advances in technology since that time, to provide a more convenient and secure piece of identification with enhanced features to protect citizens' personal information.” According to the news release, a primary need for a replacement
card comes from the estimated 9 million CareCards circulating in a province with only 4.5 million people, resulting in around $280 million a year in medical care fraud. While reducing medical care fraud, and the number of cards in residents’ wallets, Jabs continues, “The B.C. Services Card also provides the foundation for supporting the potential future development of more convenient access for citizens to new online government services as they become available.” However, privacy groups have raised concern of the integrated nature of the new Services Card. One group is the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA), who in a Jan. 8 statement mentioned that the B.C. Government has failed in their past attempts to integrate government sectors, referring to the Integrated Case Management system implemented in April 2012. The ICM is a $180 million partnership between the Ministries of Social Development, Children and Family Development, and Citizens’ Services and Open Government, with aims of making it easier for front line child welfare workers to access information, by joining over 64 government databases into one. However, soon after its creation a major flaw in the computer system made most patient information inaccessible, or in many cases, it was simply erased or lost. “In fact,” says FIPA, “we still don’t have answers as to why the
Columns Editor ×
JJ Brewis × E d i t o r @ c a p i l a n o c o u r i e r . c o m
The time-travelling wardrobe GLAMOROUS ERAS
×× jack wu
For many of us, fashion is a means of selfexpression: a way to allow the world a small glimpse into who we are, or a way to present certain aspects of ourselves to the world. Some people dress to exude confidence, others to blend in with the masses. Either way, the majority of us dress with some sort of intention, whether we are aware of it or not. For me, style plays a large part in my day-today life and gives me a visual sense of identity. I use fashion to visually communicate my interests with the world. Those interests are largely based in the realm of vintage – related to fashion, film and other historical references. Those who are unfamiliar with vintage style may initially be uncertain of its appeal. As I work in the vintage industry and have become a bit of a collector over the past few years, I have developed quite an eye for the fashions of yesteryear.
The definition of what qualifies as something vintage varies from person to person. However, as a general rule, anything between 30 to 100 years old can be categorized as vintage. Time separates an item from being vintage, as opposed to a more modern second-hand piece. Time also determines whether an item should be referred to as vintage or antique. Generally, antiques must be at least 100 years old to be classified as so. Another frequently used term is “retro.” This refers to an item that evokes a vintage style, but is not old enough to be a legitimate vintage piece. Most commonly, retro-style clothing is inspired by the fashions of the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s.
THE IMPORTANCE OF VINTAGE I view vintage fashion as an important part of the world for a number of reasons. Firstly, it allows us a glimpse into the history of different decades. Vintage clothing can be helpful in learning about the social and economical issues of certain eras. This is relevant for historical research and preservation, both of which are necessary for the fashion industry, among other creative industries, to thrive. Designers of all types look to the past for inspiration for the future. Choosing to purchase garments from the past has many ecological benefits. Not only is it a form of recycling, but also by shopping vintage instead
of new, you are choosing clothing that contains fewer environmentally harmful chemicals, not to mention the lack of materials being made in giant factories that cause ecological damage. One of my favourite reasons for choosing to don vintage apparel is the ability to wear styles and fabrics that may not be found in modern retail stores. Dressing with an eye for vintage really allows for freedom of expression, far beyond what popular fashion dictates. It is rare, when dressing vintage, to be out and about and cross paths with somebody wearing the same outfit as you. This aspect is what appeals to those of us who aspire to stand out in a crowd. Lastly, I would like to highlight the economical benefits of clothing from past decades. Retail prices of vintage garments have risen in recent years. This has occurred for a couple of reasons, namely the popularity in certain trends and decades of clothing, as well as the increasing rarity of certain items from particular eras. Despite this, there is still value to be had in choosing to buy old clothing over new. While it may be much less expensive to shop at a big box store such as H&M, the quality just isn't there. These are not garments built to stand the test of time – they are constructed through the most inexpensive methods with the least expensive materials and that really translates to the lack of lasting power of these items. Now, if we take a garment from say, the 1940s, it is very likely that, if this piece is still in great shape today, it is a high quality piece of clothing that can last for many years to come, with a little TLC. Learning methods of restoring vintage garments is important to preservation and ensuring that an item will be wearable into the future. It comes in handy to know (or know somebody who knows)
how to do small repairs and mending to aging garments to give them a new lease on life. This helps maintain the value, both financial and historical, of these items. Will an inexpensive garment from the big box store still be around 70 years from now? Not likely. There is a reason vintage items are still in good condition today: the quality of the garment has dictated a long life for the piece.
A SECOND LIFE It's important for me to give life to certain garments that may otherwise be tossed aside, discarded and unloved. Each and every vintage item I bring home is cherished, cared for and admired. I believe it to be of utmost importance for our society to have people who collect, research and restore these small pieces of history in order to understand and preserve the past for the present and future generations. While I will be the first to admit that dressing the way I do is not everybody's cup of tea, there are many aspects of vintage clothing as a whole that appeal to a broad spectrum of people and their personal styles. With this column, it is my intention to introduce a side of fashion that is unfamiliar to some readers and perhaps encourage others to embrace their quirky fashionable selves. I am a firm believer in eccentricity and am very excited to have the opportunity to share a bit of that with you. Katie Blecker is a devotee to vintage style, with a particular interest in collecting items from the 1930s and ‘40s. She also enjoys sewing, Old Hollywood, dance and cheesy puns. Follow her online at Threadandcloth.tumblr.com.
Brandden Dancer × Columnist
the capilano courier
46 issue N o . 13
I was out for brunch with a friend the other day, discussing movies we had recently seen and our own cinematic endeavors. He then asked me, “What is it you like about film?” It’s a simple question, but one that I had never really given much thought to. Film is something that is of interest to me on a recreational and somewhat professional level, but I had to think about it for a moment. I enjoy watching movies, and I enjoy making movies. But what is it that attracts me to this art form? What is it that attracts any of us? Ingmar Bergman once said, “Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.” Film and music share something special that connects with us deeply. Sure, you could say the same thing about books and maybe to some degree, sports, but I am positive you could find more people who don’t spend much time reading or watching sports than those who consume film and music (though not saying that never the twain shall meet). With film, perhaps it is because it appeals to our most basic senses. We can see it as pure eye candy or as a reflection of our own lives. You can enjoy it by yourself, or collectively,
and share moments of happiness and sadness. We can use it as a way to disengage from the world we know, turn off our brains, and let somebody else take the wheel. Whereas with a book, the author has laid out the words, but it is up to you, the reader, to imagine what the world looks and sounds like. In reading, you can make that world and the characters as real as you want them to be and once you stop, the story stops. In film, the role of the watcher is a lot more present as the information is often supplied for you rather than picturing it yourself. It’s more concrete. You could say that watching films is easier, no matter how committed you are. Maybe that is why it appeals to such a vast group in society.
Reasons for watching movies: 1. Boredom – “What do you want to do?” “I dunno.” “Wanna watch a movie?” “Alright.” This conversation could be had with either yourself or another person. I personally have this conversation pretty much every day, often with myself or with my cat.
2. Hot Date – What is the best way to get to know somebody? Sit in a dark room with a bunch of strangers where you are not allowed to talk and everyone has to look straight ahead. Next time you are at a movie on a date, try watching the person you are with the entire time, then thank me for allllll the sex you’ll be getting. 3. Learning – Paper is due tomorrow. You didn’t read the book so you will read the plot on Wikipedia and watch the movie adaptation. If you are really strapped for time you will pass on the movie. 4.
else’s life or another world that would otherwise only exist in our imagination. It is also a way for us to connect. By seeing someone else’s life and their trials and tribulations, it can help us with our own ups and downs and perhaps put things into perspective. Over the course of this column, I plan to discuss the various ways that we ingest what is certainly the most powerful storytelling medium in our world today. With technology at our fingertips, film is the most accessible it has ever been. I do not necessarily feel that it is a bad thing, but it sure has come a long way since Fred Ott’s Sneeze.
You are a Cinephile.
Watching a movie is one of the most common “go to” activities for people to take part in. It doesn’t matter if you are by yourself or with others. It is so accessible and culturally significant, no matter how good or bad the film is. But it is not necessarily easy. So much of film requires our attention, requires thinking and piecing things together through the subtext. Yes it is entertainment, but it is also a way for us to feel. It is a way for us to dream, to escape into someone
Brandden Dancer is a young man with a variety of interests, one of them being film. He co-hosts an Internet movie review show called Dangerhouse Reviews which features movies, friends, comedians, and fellow Courier writers. You can watch it at Youtube. com/dangerhousereviews. He is father to a cat named Wyatt, who is a weirdo.
An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles Evelyn Cranston
What in the world is biodiversity? Earth is a place of life. Biologist JBS Haldene stated, “The creator, if he exists, must have had an inordinate fondness for beetles,” reflecting on the fact that different beetle species comprise 25 per cent of all known life forms. There are anywhere from five to 30 million other species on Earth, only two per cent of which have been discovered. Biodiversity refers to the variety within a collection of species, their habitats, and the interconnectedness and interdependency of all species in an ecosystem. My curiosity for biodiversity grew from an opportunity I had working at Jasper National Park, at the Columbia Icefields. It’s an amazing place – the icefield f eeds eig ht gla ci e rs an d three rivers headed to three different oceans. Surrounded by many of the Canadian Rockies’ largest peaks, the harsh year-round winter-like conditions makes life seem impossible. However, I witnessed an unwavering desire for survival. “Watermelon snow” gets its name from cold-loving bacteria that tints snow with pinkish red pigments that protect from intense UV rays and absorb heat. Lichens, another post-glacial pioneer, can feed and support themselves. Lichens are a symbiotic relationship between fungi and algae. Algae provide nourishment through photosynthesis and in return, fungi protect algae. Even though enormous lichen growths on rocks and trees are common, even in cities, they grow only about a millimeter in diameter per year. Thumbnail-sized lichen is the result of at least 50 years of tireless, thankless work. As author Bill Bryson put it, “Its impulse to exist, to be, is every bit as strong as ours – arguably even stronger. If I were told that I had to spend decades being a furry growth on a rock in the woods, I believe I would lose the will to go on.” Biodiversity exists because all species are shaped over time, through natural selection, to be good at surviving and reproducing.
Life, in all its manifestations, wants nothing more than to keep living. It’s easy to forget we’re a part of nature when our interactions with wilderness and wildlife are a view of trees from the library and raccoons tearing open the garbage behind the Maple building. Nature, as a concept, seems separate from human society. There’s the forest, park and ocean over here, and places for humans over there. However, each one of us is woven into the same webs and patterns of life that exist in nature. We’re inextricably integrated and dependent on biodiversity. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment found that humans rely on biodiversity for 24 essential services, including flood control, protection from storm damage, water purification and pollination. Ab o u t a t h i rd of the food we eat is available because of pollination! In North America, just under half of prescription drugs derive from a life form. Taxol, a drug used to treat various types of cancer, uses fungi that live in the bark of the Pacific Yew tree. From the bizarre, remote forests of Madagascar came Rosy Periwinkle, which helped increase the chance of survival of
childhood leukemia sufferers from 10 per cent to 85 to 95 per cent. Biodiversity also cultivates spirit. Vancouver is a desirable place to live largely because of the natural setting. People pay top dollar for a mountain view or proximity to the ocean. “Nature deficit disorder” has been proposed as a link to anxiety, depression, ADHD and obesity. Conversely, scientific studies have shown that people exposed to nature feel happier, more energized and more alive. As much as a trip to downtown Vancouver can be exciting and stimulating, a wander through Lynn Canyon Park brings me a sense of peace, connection and wonderment that can’t be found anywhere with florescent lights. A report in Nature predicted a loss of a quarter of all animal and plant species in less than 40 years due to climate change. Millions more will be lost due to habitat loss. Already, distinct genetic lineages are disappearing and habitats for fragile or undiscovered species are lost daily. Losing an important species can collapse an entire ecosystem. It hurts to think that we evolved side by side the other species of the earth for millions of years, and
Evelyn Cranston studies environmental geography at UBC. After considering all possible majors and feeling interested in all of them, she decided going with the study of the world would be a safe bet. She likes long walks on the beach, searching for dead starfish, barnacles and old kelp clumps.
×× karen picketts
GARDEN CITY OF GOOD AND EVIL WE're all in this together
46 issue N o . 13
Weaver, unconcerned about vote splitting, also does not shy away from his past endorsements across party lines. “I have a long history of working with political leaders from across the political spectrum both in Canada and abroad,” he says. “I have always supported good policy and good people; I will not oppose policy simply because another party came up with the idea.” The polls so far indicate the NDP is set to win a majority of seats in the B.C. legislature, and despite his endorsement of the current federal NDP leader, Weaver has been a longtime critic of the B.C. NDP’s environmental policies. In 2009 he was quoted as saying, “The NDP's socalled environmental platform is regressive and counter-productive.” This concern has not faded in 2013: “I’ve been following what’s happening in B.C. and I’m concerned that with an NDP landslide, the environment will fall to the wayside. The [B.C.] NDP lost a lot of credibility in this portfolio during the last provincial election campaign with their cynical axe-the-tax campaign.” Despite his passion for politics, and his commitment to standing for election, Weaver doesn’t see a seat in the B.C. Legislature as the end of the road for him. Crediting Elizabeth May as “an inspiration” Weaver says, “I’m not doing this to make a career out of politics; rather I’m stepping up to make a difference.”
Liberals, calling the former premier’s leadership on the environment “visionary and courageous,” and urging “anyone who cares about our planet…to support leaders like Gordon Campbell.” In 2011, Weaver gave his endorsement to Tom Mulcair at the federal level, appearing with the NDP leader at a Vancouver press conference, and stating, “Canada needs a prime minister who recognizes that a healthy economy does not have to come at the expense of a healthy environment.” While these endorsements might seem contradictory, Weaver is not a believer in strong partisan association: “To many of these people [in Oak Bay-Gordon Head], the most important issue is not the political party you are running for, but rather the quality and integrity of the candidate running.” The Green Party has often been seen as a vote-splitter. For Weaver, however, such concerns are mere puffery: “Vote-splitting is a red herring; people are looking for a new way of governing.” In the particular case of the Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding, Weaver is even more certain that the vote-splitting argument is misleading. “I do not believe my candidacy will split the vote. Let’s take a look at the Oak Bay-Gordon Head riding. Only 67 per cent of voters bothered to cast a ballot last election. 12,731 people did not vote. That number is greater than both votes received by [Liberal] Ida Chong (11,877) and [NDP’s] Jessica Van der Veen (11,316).”
The startling results of the federal byelection could trickle down to the upcoming provincial election in B.C. with Elizabeth May already holding a seat from Saanich-Gulf Islands, is Victoria set to be the launching pad of the Greens into Canadian politics? Can these strong federal showings translate into an electoral success for the Green Party on a provincial level? These questions will form a major thread in the narrative of this May’s B.C. provincial election, and Andrew Weaver is betting the electorate will answer “Green:” “[The Green Party] offers fresh ideas and a promise to work towards the reclamation of our parliamentary democracy,” Weaver says. “One only needs to look at the recent byelection results in Calgary and Victoria to see the evidence for these statements.” In 2013’s field of aspirants to public office, Andrew Weaver is an especially tall poppy. Weaver is the B.C. Green Party’s candidate in the riding of Oak Bay-Gordon Head. He grew up in Victoria, and currently serves as Landsdowne professor and Canada Research chairperson at the University of Victoria. He also won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize as part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sharing the prize with Al Gore. So why abandon those lofty heights for the gritty world of provincial politics? This year isn’t the first that Andrew Weaver has waded into politics. In the 2009 B.C. election Weaver endorsed Gordon Campbell and the B.C.
the capilano courier
The latest round of byelections this past November mimicked the lead of the last federal election – their results were surprising, and proved that Canada’s electorate is not as predictable as it was once assumed. November’s trio of federal byelections in the ridings of Victoria, Calgary Centre, and Durham managed to both produce surprising results and maintain the status quo. The Conservatives held onto their seats in Alberta and Ontario, and the NDP, the Official Opposition, kept theirs in British Columbia. But in Calgar y Centre and Victoria, the victory parties of the Conservatives and the NDP had their punch peed in. In Calgary Centre the Liberals took second place with showing of 32.7 per cent, to the Conservatives’ 36.9 per cent, but the real surprise was the 25.7 per cent third place showing by the Green Party. While a sizeable third place showing for the eco-politics of the Green Party in the heart of Canada’s oil country might be strange enough brew, in Victoria it was more of a genuine shock. Victoria is a riding the NDP has held federally since 2006. This time out, however, with 39,130 out of 88,886 possible electors casting their vote, the NDP’s Murray Rankin came close to getting smoked, with the NDP earning just 37.2 per cent of the vote to Donald Galloway of the Green Party’s 34.3 per cent.
now we’ve turned on them. It makes me feel like a traitor to a kind and generous earth. Biodiversity conservation is a hard sell. Reducing pollution or halting pesticide use is easy to support because inaction will have a direct impact on humans. A study in Nature found that extinction of one in five species will have negligible effects on biomass production, and therefore, the utility offered to humans. If biodiversity is valuable because we benefit from it, we could logically assume that protecting around 80 per cent of species is a “good enough” goal. Conservation movements have always struggled with providing a compelling reason to save all species from extinction, if they’re not useful and if conservation stands in the way of economic development and social progress. As a species with a capacity for empathy, we should know that we have no inherent right to exterminate a species. We have a responsibility and moral obligation to treat our neighbours and our home with respect. How we treat beings who have nothing to offer to us, and who are less powerful than ourselves speaks to our collective morality. When a species goes extinct, part of what makes us human dies as well. Biodiversity is also important simply because it is wonderful and exciting. New discoveries are still happening today. In 2012, we learned of the existence of a navy blue tarantula, an endangered monkey that resembles Voldemort and sneezes when it rains, the world’s smallest vertebrate, and of course, many more beetle species.
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JJ Brewis × E d i t o r @ c a p i l a n o c o u r i e r . c o m
ADVENTURES IN HOLLYWEIRD
Luke Atlas × Columnist
Chasing my perpetual Ferris Bueller It’s been almost seven years since I last lugged a backpack through the halls of high school, but it wasn’t until last summer that I finally finished my Senior project. Okay, this wasn’t some long overdue dissection of Jane Eyre, or a crappy diorama on plant cells; it was a band I started with some friends from film class with no more intention than to make a few classmates laugh and to maybe, half-jokingly, get girlfriends (which kind of worked, eventually). It all began at a small arts school above a food court in the shadow of the Seattle Space Needle and ended only a few hundred feet away at a music venue on the same campus. But in between, this little band took three of my closest friends and I to clubs and theatres across the U.S., Canada, and Europe; across the pages of magazines and newspapers as far away as Japan and Australia; and to far reaches of the Internet from Perez Hilton to Brooklyn Vegan. It led me to perform on a bill with my teen nerd musical obsession, Weezer, tour the entire U.S. with a lady whose face took up wall space in my bedroom (Lily Allen), and sign major publishing and record label contracts before I was old enough to legally order Jägerbombs (Lily’s fave) at the bar. Despite my high school teachers’ dismay, being in this band was a far more valuable experience than any college would have provided. In an exciting way, it felt like I was playing hooky from what I “should have been doing” the whole time. But at some point recently, a sort of quarter-life
crisis gave me a cold slap across the face. Continuing what started on a bored teenager’s whim began to seem tiresome, and this chunk of my life that was once so carefree and easy had become like “work.” My friends were getting real jobs and I was still playing songs about pubescent beards and side ponytails. For as fun as it was, I started longing for something different. After I got the courage (and a round of beers) to tell my bandmates about this, I found out they all pretty much agreed. The band that wasn’t supposed to last beyond a high school talent show or a few house parties finally had an expiration date: June 16, 2012. That was the night of our last show ever; a last blast for the kids we used to be and for the kids who still called themselves fans, some making the trip from as far away as New York and Florida. A hundred dollars in streamers, confetti, cake and leaf blowers, and a few hundred people in a sweaty, dark room made for the perfect night. We played almost every song we ever wrote (including our first song about gummy fruit snacks) to an audience of enthusiastic fans, friends and family bouncing along to every song for the last time. But as I looked out into the smiling faces across the room, the familiar face of my girlfriend of twoand-a-half years was missing. It wasn’t so much a surprise as it was a poignant absence; totally unrelated and unexpected, we had broken up a few days prior – but that’s a whole different story. It only added to the weird-factor of a night that would mark the end of a huge chapter in my life.
As my now-former bandmates and some close friends celebrated the final show into the sunrise the next morning, something else began dawning on me. For as sad and bittersweet as my two breakups in one week were, I was overcome with a sensation of freedom – like convertible-topdown-on-the-freeway, smiling-and-twirling-in-ameadow freedom. There were no more bandmates to pester about rehearsing, no girlfriend to take on dates, no school, no job, no nothing. My new life could be one big perpetual Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, if I wanted. It got me thinking: if I was John Hughes or some other screenwriter, how would I make this newly-boring character (me) interesting? Why not take this opportunity to live like I was some intrepid wunderkind in a Hollywood movie and pursue my wildest dreams despite all rationality? I still loved creating catchy music like I had done in the band, but Seattle with its bearded folkAmericana obsession and dismal weather really wasn’t the place to explore the grander avenues of pop songwriting and producing. Within a few months I took the biggest risk of my life, packing up all my stuff in my car, leaving the only home I ever knew, and hitting I-5 southbound toward that glimmering beacon of hope known as Hollywood, California. And so far, I’m so glad I did. I encourage you to think every once in a while, “Would my present reality be interesting to an audience of complete strangers?” Maybe that’s an excuse to call that person you’ve been
thinking about, to go out instead of staying home watching Breaking Bad on Netflix, or to finally make that huge life change you’ve been so carefully mulling over. It’s a small step toward making every day feel like you’re skipping school with your two best friends, stealing a Ferrari, and belting “Twist and Shout” from a parade float – which is pretty much the ideal, right? Luke Atlas is the former singer and songwriter for Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head (later renamed Brite Futures). He currently resides in Los Angeles, California, where he is an aspiring Svengali for the pop stars of tomorrow. He someday hopes to own a very cute puppy.
×× dave mcansh
× staff editorial ×
Gardening Junkieer? Who would’ve thought I’d call myself a farmer Leanne Kriz
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46 issue N o . 13
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Like most young people, my life is packed. I swing back and forth between two or three jobs, while last semester attempting school full-time as well. During this madness, gardening has become one of my newest and deepest obsessions. I loved the escape that my garden had to offer and the edible and readily available fruit of my efforts was rewarding like nothing I had done before. This obsession began about four years ago when I converted my parents’ backyard into a mini urban farm with raised beds, multiple pots and a rejuvenation of their herb garden. I had big dreams. I chatted with garden gurus at the local gardening shops and they told me how simple gardening was: you put the seed in the ground, water it, and watch it grow! Bam! Next thing you know you are eating a luscious meal right from your own yard. It ended up not being the fairytale I had envisioned. The first year was rough and it mostly ended up with my parents taking on a new hobby. There was a lot more work and knowledge involved, but as the years progressed I learned to battle the blights, the aphids, the weeds and the effort it takes to actually water your garden every day. Just two summers after my first attempt, I had moved out and become a full-blown gardener (without the parental crutch.) After six months with my garden, we had to part ways. I chose
my next new home for its beautiful view and enormous windows. On the downside, it was an apartment and this meant that there would be little gardening in my future. I tried to get used to this fact by telling myself I would grow an herb garden. I hauled all my pots up to the fourth floor and put them on our deck. I have yet to experience a growing season, and my plan was to attempt growing lettuce, kale and possibly some beans. I was not about to give up on my big gardening dreams just yet. My plan was to wait patiently until the season started, until I got an e-mail from the Edible Garden Project, (also known as EGP, which is a local North Vancouver initiative to bring food growing closer to home and educate the community on how to do so) for an aquaponics workshop. Aquaponics is a sustainable method used for growing vegetables and raising fish. It combines growing plants and fish in a symbiotic system, where the fish water is reused to water the plants and in turn is cleaned by the plants and filtered back to the fish. There is a little bit more to it, but it is a relatively simple system. One of the huge upsides is that the plants can be planted closer together than regular plants and you can actually get a pretty big yield in a small space. How cool! Right? The workshop focused on relatively large aquaponics systems for backyards but that thought scared me mostly because I can’t really imagine a big fish tank on my rickety balcony without a vision involving it ending up in my downstairs
neighbour’s apartment. So I started thinking, how small can aquaponics go? I began researching online and stumbled across Our.windowfarms. org. This website was dedicated to exactly what it sounds like, a tiny farm in your window! The method they used was similar to aquaponics but without the fish. They offer a pre-made window farm, which was a bit out of my price range, but they also offer an open source instruction manual. The website forums are endless and the decision of window farms to create this open source system has really done its job. The manuals are accessible to anyone who can get on a computer and the last time I checked there was an online community of 38, 960 window farmers. Many of these users have posted improvements, issues, set backs and personal learning challenges. I felt like I had reached my Mecca. This online community paved the way for me. After all the struggles and efforts to try to make vegetable growing a part of my life, I had finally found what I was looking for. I decided that I would like to create this system using recycled materials and incorporating aquaponics, so that the system would be more contained. Plus, I want some pet fish. All the information I needed was in the forums. I can’t express how excited I still am about the fact that projects like this are being provided in an open source format for almost anyone around the
world to access and use. Not only is it a fantastic way to learn, get tips, avoid disasters and save time, but it is also a community of people and a place to make friends. It is a way to promote creativity and a more sustainable world. The progression of my hobby has led me to be a window farmer. What have I learned from this? Well, if you really care about something, don’t give up when things aren’t looking great. Pursue your passions, be creative and sooner than you realize, you might just be part of an online movement of thousands of people, learning and paving the way for many more to follow. Oh yeah, and eating cheap organic food while you do it!
×× shannon elliott
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YOU CAN'T START A FIRE WITHOUT A SPARK Two locals bring Lights – off dance party to Vancouver Mike Conway × Writer For those unaccustomed to going into strange dark basements in neighbourhoods that they’re not used to and dancing in total darkness, No Lights No Lycra may at first be slightly bewildering. However, every Wednesday night from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., that’s exactly what Justin Kellam and Julia Chirka have created a space for in the basement of the Russian Hall. No Lights No Lycra is an international dance community founded in Melbourne, Australia, by dance students Alice Glenn and Heidi Barrett. Since its founding in 2009, it has independently sprung up within Europe, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Kellam and Chirka, while travelling through Australia on tour with their band at the time, were introduced to the No Lights No Lycra, and were instantly hooked. “Our friends told us about No Lights No Lycra in Melbourne, and one night brought us to it,” says Kellam. “It was a hot, dark, festive dance party, and everyone was having a good time!” The darkness allows for free form dancing, with none of the social awkwardness of dancing in public. Space gets divided naturally as each person begins to adjust to the darkness. The only three lights are the two exit signs and the sound system LED, although after a while the light they throw onto the dance floor can seem like a lot. “It’s funny,” reflects Kellam after the event, “everyone seems to gravitate towards the sound system light, like a campfire.” Stephanie Aitken, an attendee, notes,
“Sometimes I hide in the very back of the room just to be even more in the dark!” The numbers of attendees vary from week to week, and can be difficult to judge, on account of the darkness. “In fact I’m never really sure how many people come, I think some people leave early,” says Kellam. “I’d guess most times it’s around seven to 15 people, a couple times it was just me and Julia.” At first the darkness can be outright strange, and it takes a little while to figure out where to put any personal belongings, especially in winter, so it’s best to get there before the lights go off. Chirka reflected on this issue: “Sometimes I think we should have one of us welcoming people.” However the general feeling is that people can read the handmade sign on the door, and get to danc- ×× scarlette aubrey ing on their own. The price of admission is by suggested donation, preferably around $2 to $5. The playlists are created mainly by Kellam; however, both he and Chirka encourage playlists from attendees. “It’s actually really hard to make a one hour playlist every week for one year straight, like we have,” says Kellam, “and I really try to not repeat the lists, people notice.” Not only do playlists have to be one hour, they have to be danceable and reach a broad audience. Chirka laughs,
“I remember one time someone made a really bad list, I mean really bad. But that’s not very often.” The venue is located on 600 Campbell Street, off Hastings Street. “We chose the Russian Community Centre because it’s a nice old building, and it’s cheap,” says Kellam. The Russian Hall is a heritage building with a large, wood-floored basement, and the owners let them keep their equipment there for free. “Nobody really uses the space other than us it seems, and it’s the perfect size for our event.” There are difficulties in trying to organize an event like No Lights No Lycra. Having sufficient numbers and being patient during weeks where nobody shows up are some. Chirka says, “We had a couple weeks back in the fall where it was just me and Justin. It makes it tough because of the energy it takes to make the list, and book the time.” Kallem believes it’s a problem with the city in general, pointing out a general lack in quality venues for bands and performance arts to thrive in. “The problem is that everything in the city is too expensive, it makes everyone so busy all the time, so people have to work just for the weekend.” Kallem continues, remarking on the current closure of the Waldorf: “The Waldorf sums up Vancouver, one of the few places musicians can
meet and play music at a half-decent venue successfully, and what happens? It closes. The city wants more condos and less music. I know it’s different for our difficulties running No Lights No Lycra, but it represents an attitude.” Kallem and Chirka want No Lights No Lycra to offer a mid-week activity where people can have fun, let off some steam, all while finishing early enough in the evening to either go home, or carry onto something else (such as the WISE Hall, on Adanac). There are many reasons people go to No Lights No Lycra, other than it just being fun. “Some people use it as their dose of exercise, an alternative to Yoga,” says Chirka. “Other people use it is a stress reliever, to dance in the dark and work off a bad day.” Stephanie Aitken, in fact, began her birthday celebrations this past week with a Wednesday night dance. There is no bar, and it is not a drinking establishment, however there is a favourite place to meet after the dance at 8:30 p.m. No Lights No Lycra, Chirka and Kellam will tell you, has found its roots in cities and countries around the world because of its strangeness, and connectedness. “Just because we can`t see each other,” Kellam says, “doesn’t mean we don’t know you’re there, or even who you are.” As soon as the lights go on, there is a disappointed group of people who want to keep going. There is also fresh water, because it’s thirsty work, dancing in the dark. No Lights No Lycra Vancouver occurs every Wednesday from 7:30p.m. to 8:30 pm in the Russian Hall at 600 Campbell Ave. Learn more at nlnlvancouver.tumblr.com.
A Tasteful Tradition Dine Out Vancouver festival enters second decade Andy Rice
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46 issue N o . 13
× Staff Writer
Foodies from Vancouver and beyond are stepping up to the plate for this year’s installment of Dine Out Vancouver. Originally started in 2002 as a way to help restaurants through the difficult postChristmas lull, combined with a drop in travel right after 9/11, the event has since grown into Canada’s largest celebration of dining out. Tens of thousands of local and visiting food enthusiasts participate each year, all eager to experience Vancouver's diverse culinary offerings. Now in its 11th year, the festival is a 17-day celebration of the region’s cuisine organized by Tourism Vancouver, running Jan. 18 to Feb. 3. Lucas Pavan, the festival coordinator for Dine Out Vancouver, says that this year is the biggest yet, with 240 restaurants participating. As in previous years, each will offer diners a three-course prix-fix meal for $18, $28 or $38 per person – an affordable price, even for students. “It’s an opportunity to forget about school and go out with your friends and have a great meal … order that glass of wine and really relax and have some fun out dining,” says Pavan. “The other thing is that we have a bunch of different events that can really pique a student’s curiosity.” One in particular is The Grape Debate, a panel discussion that will take place between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Feb. 1 at the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Wine experts will convene to discuss whether or not B.C. should focus on producing and becoming known for a single wine variety. Tickets are $28 and available on a limited basis to those who are 19 and over. “And there’s a wine tasting afterwards,” says Pavan, adding that the event “does have a cerebral aspect to it for students who may be interested in the more intellectual side of things.” Other activities include guided dining adventures, culinary and cocktail tours, cooking classes and demonstrations, guest lectures, B.C. wine and craft beer tastings, street food markets and more. The festival has also expanded recently to offer prix-fix hotel room rates at $78, $108, and $138 per night along with dining packages intended, quite literally, to give visitors the full meal deal. But how good is the dining scene around here? Is Vancouver considered a heavyweight in the culinary world? “In the context of Canada, yes,” says foodie and restaurant blogger Mijune Pak of the Follow Me Foodie blog. “I would say that along with Montreal and Toronto, I definitely think that we have a name there.” However, Pak says, she believes Vancouver still has some work to do before it can be considered an innovator on a global scale. “I think in terms of being culinary leaders we play it very safe here,” she explains. “We’re still not as adventurous with a lot of things, but in terms of having a bigger voice in movements – like being sustainable and being more local – I think we’re really good at doing that.”
Dine Out Vancouver is undoubtedly playing to those strengths, with a focus on local ingredients and partnerships with Granville Island Brewing Company and BC Wine Institute. Pak has attended the festival in the past and describes it as a great way to socialize and sample food during a fun night out. “Just don’t base all your judgement on that one experience,” she warns. With an influx of traffic and a price limit on courses, “it might not be the best representation of what a restaurant actually can do on a regular night.” It is a start though, providing an affordable option for those looking to try something new or satisfy their curiosity about an unfamiliar eatery. Even long after Dine Out Vancouver is over, Pak says there are still some great ways to get the most value out of a meal. She suggests trying out a more expensive restaurant for lunch instead of dinner, or venturing off the beaten path to seek out ethnic options. “We have so many good ethnic eateries that are really cheap,” she says. “I know it’s comparing apples to oranges but if you are looking for really budget-friendly meals you’re going to have to look at more of those. Along Fraser Street and along Kingsway, there are tons of hole-in-the-wall eateries out there.” Some of them can even be found on this year’s Dine Out Vancouver roster. Part of the success and attraction of the event is that its reach extends far beyond fine dining and establishments located in the downtown core alone.
Pavan assures that the festival is not only a cure for an empty stomach but also the perfect remedy for those annual post-Christmas blues. “[Dine Out Vancouver] happens at a time of year when there is a hunger, pardon the pun, for things to do and wanting to get out of the house,” he says. “The days are getting slightly longer and are statistically less rainy than November and December so it really comes at a time when people ... are eagerly anticipating the onset of spring and something to do.” For more information on this year’s Dine Out Vancouver festival and the various events and restaurants that will be participating, go to Dineoutvancouver.com.
×× KIRA CAMPBELL
project dispels myths about HIV/AIDS Lauren Gargiulo × Writer “People think HIV is a gay disease or for junkies. The illusions and connotations in regards to HIV/ AIDS have not gotten much better than they were in the ‘90s. Most of the people I know have never even been tested for HIV and have unprotected sex all the time because they don't think they fit into a category of what someone living with HIV is,” says Daniel Pitout. Pitout is the drummer for the three-piece Vancouver based punk band, Nü Sensae. Pitout also started the AIDS Music Project which, stated on the project website is “…a nonprofit organization to help promote HIV/AIDS awareness through music and art.” Pitout gathered the support of his friends and their music project to help donate to the cause. Bands such as White Lung, Grimes, Black Flag’s second vocalist and guitarist for PIGGY, Ron Reyes, as well as Burger Records, donated prize packs, t-shirts and signed CDs to be raffled off. The project was active for the entire month of December, which is AIDS Awareness month. Pitout was born and raised in South America,
which has the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world. “It's a huge part of life there. Even our Sesame Street had an HIV positive puppet on it. I grew up with it never being a shameful thing to discuss.” In North America, the attitude towards HIV/ AIDS is different. Many people don’t consider the possibility that they are in a position to contract it, regardless of their lifestyle or sexuality. “Two million people die of AIDS each year. These are people of all sexualities, lifestyles and behaviours. Awareness of HIV is not even the most relevant topic because people are aware of what HIV is. The most important thing is dispelling the myths of the disease. Get tested for HIV today, no matter who you are or think you are,” Pitout states. While it’s hard to say how many were inspired by the project to get tested, the event overall was successful in raising funds which went directly to help organizations such as the AIDS Research Alliance and CANFAR (Canadian Foundation For Aids Research). “We raised a ton of money with the raffles from all the incredible artists that took part,” says Pitout. “I am sending out the prizes to our winners this week, who stretch as far as Australia and Norway. I am so proud of everyone that took part in the event and everyone that donated money.” If you missed out on it this year, don’t worry – according to Pitout, “Not only will I be doing it every year, but I have plans to make it bigger and better each year.”
Paul Rudd is awkward and more Victoria Fawkes × Writer Hollywood’s elite kicked off its 2013 award season with the glitzy 70th annual Golden Globes. The awards were hosted by comedians Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, who warmed up the crowd with jokes about 2012’s best films and poked fun at some of the celebrities present. Lena Dunham, Leonardo Dicaprio, Robert Pattinson and Anne Hathaway were just a few of the many stars present. To start off the show, Paul Rudd was painfully awkward to watch as he introduced the winners for best actor in a drama with Salma Hayak. He seemed to have no idea what to say, and missed his cue to announce the nominees for best drama television series. Instead, their clumsy foreword was cut short by the visual clips of the nominees themselves, just as Hayak opened her mouth to try and save Rudd. Thankfully, the duo was able to laugh it off with the audience afterward and finish their introduction. While the nominee announcements may not be a huge deal in some peoples’ eyes, it seemed unprofessional and distracted from the seamlessness of the awards. Mychael Danna, creator of Life of Pi’s musical score beat out tough competition from Argo, Anna Karenina, Cloud Atlas and Lincoln for his best original score victory. However, the highlight of the music category was the moment of joy in which Adele celebrated her win for best original song for Skyfall with a celebratory high five from Daniel Craig.
Former President Bill Clinton made an appearance to speak about Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln, receiving a standing ovation from the entire room. After giving a poignant speech about the film and the legacy that President Lincoln left behind, Amy Pohler got the show back on track by saying how star struck she was in the presence of “Hillary Clinton’s husband.” One of the funnier moments of the night happened when Tina Fey appeared in drag as “Damian Francisco” who was one of the nominees for best performance by an actor in a miniseries or a motion picture made for television. Francisco, who was nominated for his portrayal of a professional volleyball player battling restless leg syndrome in the film Dog President, was funnier and much less uncomfortable to watch than James Franco’s halfhearted Marilyn Monroe impersonation at last year’s Oscars. Towards the end of the awards show, Jodie Foster was presented with a well-deserved Cecil B. Demille Lifetime Achievement award. In addition to thanking her best friend, her older sisters and her dying mother in her speech, many media outlets interpreted part of her speech as her "coming out", although as she said, “I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age, in those very quaint days when a fragile young girl would open up to trusted friends and family and co-workers and then gradually, proudly to everyone who knew her, to everyone she actually met.” Overall, the 70th annual Golden Globe Awards were full of laughter, fun and the predictable amount of awkward jokes and hysterically happy winners that tend to accompany award shows. Les Miserables and Django Unchained predictably collected big wins, as did the breakout HBO series Girls. The smiles and tears of those who received awards made this year’s Golden Globes well worth watching, as well as the advancement and progress that the entertainment industry experienced through the hard work of this year’s winners.
×× TIERNEY MILNE
DO THEY HAVE ROCK N' ROLL IN HEAVEN? Local “Rock God” keeps track of karaoke in the Lower Mainland × Writer
46 issue N o . 13
at most places, where before I could only get one or two per night,” he muses. “There are maybe 500-1,000 people that regularly go to a karaoke in the Lower Mainland specifically for the karaoke. These people will always go to karaoke.” He further elaborates that the decreased popularity of singing competition shows such as American Idol has hurt the business of karaoke. “The popularity of karaoke was at its height about five years ago when the American/Canadian Idol shows were very popular.” But karaoke’s generally decreased popularity doesn’t take away what makes it fun and worthwhile. It’s the type of event that can be done with friends or strangers. The great singers are celebrated, and even the shyest or the less capable vocalists aren’t immune to the powers of an almost essential ingredient in karaoke: alcohol. “Having a few drinks tends to make some people more willing to sing!” Paul “The Rock God”’s website can be found at Rockgod.ca.
“This is the official site of the Rock God! Once an unknown karaoke singer, the Rock God is now Canada's fastest growing celebrity,” states the website of “Paul The Rock God,” which, along with pictures of him singing karaoke all over the world and tips on being a good karaoke host, contains the most comprehensive list of karaoke nights across the Lower Mainland. While he is not a karaoke host himself, Paul “The Rock God” has a special place amongst the karaoke community in Vancouver. “Everybody likes to sing. Music is an important part of our lives; karaoke is a very social activity,” he says. “Anybody can come to the karaoke with 'crowds' and sing.” This openness and inclusiveness results in what is often a very diverse night of performances, from people who have never sung, to total regulars. “The host(s) will generally take people on a first come-first serve basis. So, you get a very diverse crowd of
As for his title, another connoisseur of entertainment bestowed it upon him. “There was a host, Brian ‘Ultimate Elvis’ Simpson who is a multiple time Canadian Elvis tribute artist champion, he started introducing me as ‘The Rock God,’ and then everybody just started calling me ‘The Rock God.’” Among the host of karaoke offering pubs in Lower Mainland Vancouver, The Rock God has a few that stay close to his heart. “My favourite spot for karaoke is Shenanigans on Robson, because it’s where I started singing; it’s a big venue and has a large stage … I also really like the karaoke at the Old Admiral Pub, which is run by Brian ‘Ultimate Elvis’ Simpson. Any of Brian’s shows are excellent!” However, karaoke’s current popularity in Vancouver is not at its best. “The popularity of karaoke in Vancouver is at a low point at the moment due to the economy slowing, the HST, tougher drinking and driving laws, no hockey on TV [the NHL lockout has recently been lifted], and the loss of a few long-time karaoke gigs,” The Rock God explains. “I can get about five to 10 songs per night now
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people and songs,” explains Paul. “Each venue and host usually has a group of regular singers that come out. So you never know what you will get when you show up! It could be a quiet night or a crazy night!” “The Rock God” keeps a website where he constantly updates and details the karaoke nights in the entire Lower Mainland, from North Vancouver to Port Coquitlam and everywhere in between. The dates, times and any contact information for both the venue and the host are all included. His website is also under preparation to operate in a global scale, and even now, he’s detailing shows in Toronto, Scarborough and New York. Not surprisingly, Paul is an avid fan of rock songs. “I like to sing rock and roll and get the crowd rocking.” As he states on his website, “The Rock God carefully chooses his songs based on the size of the crowd, the atmosphere in the bar, and how much the song ROCKS!” He lists all favourite go-to songs on his website, which include "Rockin' in the Free World" by Neil Young, "Rock and Roll All Night" by Kiss and "Holiday" by Green Day.
FEATURES ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT Features Editor ×
× s p e c i a l f e at u r e s . c a p c o u r i e r @ g m a i l . c o m
Where can students with mental health issues turn? Dan Seljak
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46 issue N o . 13
× The Varsity, University of Toronto
I am sitting in an auditorium. My exam is in front of me. I have studied. I have brought seven pens because of the time in first-year my pen leaked halfway through the final essay question. I arrange them on the top left corner of my desk. They are aligned at the bottom from tallest to shortest, left to right. The exam begins. For three hours I must be focused. Coherent. I feel good. And for the first half hour I am good. But then I reach The Question. It isn’t that I don’t know the answer. I just don’t expect it. Maybe it’s worded strangely. Maybe the answer could be ambiguous. Whatever it is, The Question has triggered The Panic. The Panic reminds me that if I get The Question wrong, I will have to get the rest right. If I don’t get enough of the rest right, this will have a negative effect on The Final Grade. If The Final Grade is low, that will pull down The GPA and once that happens there will be a negative effect on The Future. Once The Future is affected, I will probably be left by my girlfriend, abandoned by my family, and will one day live under the underpass. My focus is gone. I am no longer present, but shuffling through possible futures. None of them are good. My anxiety rises and my thoughts become more fragmented. My pulse quickens. My handwriting, my spelling, and my writing style all fall apart. I have failed exams this way. I find myself counting. I find five things that I can see (the red door, the bored TA at the front of the room, the brand name of my pen, my own name on the exam booklet, the tile pattern on the ground) and soundlessly repeat them to myself. Then I begin listening. I count five things that I can hear: the clock ticking, my breathing, the rustling of pages being turned, the scratching of pens on paper, the slight cough of the girl beside me. Finally I pay attention to what I can feel: the coolness of the pen in my hand, the smoothness of the exam booklet, the rigid shape of my chair, the hardness of the floor beneath my feet, the itchiness of the cheap cotton t-shirt I’m wearing. Then I count them again, but this time one less. Four things I can see. Four things I can hear. Four things I can feel. Then three, three, three. Two, two, two. One. One. One. Finally, I am present again. I complete the exam. I will probably do fine, and no one will ever know about the 10 to 15 minutes I spent severed from the present. The only indication will be my t-shirt soaked through the armpits with sweat, but I will eliminate that evidence the moment I get out of the exam. Just like I always do. I will make my way to the first bathroom I can find, lock the door, remove my shirt, and hold it under the hand dryer. That is my ritual. Me, standing at a hand dryer, arms outstretched, motionlessly holding my shirt in shame. And I am ashamed. I am ashamed in a way that has kept me from seeking treatment for 12 years. I am ashamed of having to admit that my needs might be different from what is supposed to be “normal.” It is only in the last two years that I have started seeing a counsellor. It is only now that I have started practising breathing techniques. It is only now that I have asked my old family doctor, who last saw me when I was 16, for a referral to a psychologist who could assess me.
But the reality is that I’m not the only one who copes with anxiety. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, five per cent of Canadians are affected by anxiety disorders, a significant part of the 20 per cent of Canadians who will experience mental health issues in their lifetime. If these statistics are accurate, then an average 20-student tutorial is likely to contain four students with mental health issues. One of those four may have an anxiety disorder. Universities do not ignore these issues. An enormous student population guarantees that there is a virtual army of anxious, depressed, manic, or otherwise-affected students with needs that must be met. Accessibility Services, Counselling and Psychological Services, and the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work are just some of the services provided on campus to support students. Janine Robb, Executive Director of Health and Wellness at the University of Toronto, handles the mental health component of these services. “Mental health is a continuum,” she says. “It is not simply an absence of symptoms. It’s an ability to function, to enjoy life, to make good choices, to be participating. Because you can have a depression, and be able to do all that. You can have bipolar disorder and do all that.” Robb couched her views with those of the University of Toronto. Overall, U of T services have a more general commitment to equity – a commitment to the rights of all students and a commitment to providing them equal access to education. But despite the inarguable stated commitment to mental health on campus, stigma still interferes daily with students’ lives in subtle and sometimes surprising ways. Amy, a third-year student diagnosed with Asperger’s disorder (the names of students quoted in this article have been changed to protect their anonymity), noted that University of Toronto staff often assume – if most often unconsciously – that diagnoses reflect a negative component of students’ personality. When she went to speak to her registrar about an accessibility need, Amy was surprised that her registrar responded to the disclosure of her particular diagnosis with something along the lines of, “Wow, you don’t present as that at all!” Amy was shocked because accessibility needs are often invisible; she had expected that her registrar would be used to students having a wide variety of needs, whether or not those needs are immediately apparent. “Hearing something along the lines of ‘Wow you really don’t present like that,’ makes it seem as if she is: one, making an attempt at a compliment by telling me I present ‘normally,’ which assumes that anyone with a disability must aspire to be normal, i.e. someone without a disability, and two, de-validating the needs I have – even if it’s an unintentional de-validation, especially if it’s an unintentional de-validation – as someone who identifies as having Asperger’s disorder,” explains Amy. The invisibility of her diagnosis makes it no less real. “Even if the outer representation of self doesn’t reflect a diagnosis, [it] doesn’t mean you’re not interacting with it on an interior level every day,” she continues. Amy has found that while her registrar has always been supportive, extremely helpful, and mostly sensitive overall, this initial reaction indicates how old patterns of thought can result in slips that challenge the level of equality to which the University of Toronto aspires. Lindsey, an instructor I had last semester,
prioritized this equality. She prefaced her class’ late policy with an account of how she had coped with death and suicide during her own undergraduate experience, and emphasized how important access to the appropriate services was to her. She provided resources for where and how students could find the services they might need. Finally, she explicitly stated that she did not need to hear the full backstories of individuals’ mental health issues in order to acknowledge their needs. Instead she promised to do everything in her power to meet the needs of any student who provided her with documentation of their needs. She realized that students with mental health issues do not need to make excuses for why they don’t fit the idea of normal. What they need is to be recognized and accommodated. But even with the kind of recognition available at a university – and Accessibility Services –level, students still face the possibility that stigma will cause their diagnosis to be misunderstood by friends and family. For students returning home post-diagnosis, there is the chance that the place they return to will be compromised. For these students, a diagnosis does not mean they are returning with a new tool that identifies their needs, but that they are returning as a manifestation of their diagnosis. They become seen as the crazy person, someone beyond help. Terrence, a student leader and musician, recently received a borderline personality disorder diagnosis. For Terrence, the only issue he had with the services provided by U of T was the initial difficulty of finding help. Since he obtained his diagnosis he has found both faculty and staff to be incredibly supportive. Instead, it is at home that he faces stigma. It is at home where Terrence’s diagnosis is treated not as part of his multi-faceted identity, but instead as his identifier. “The initial reaction from my family was not a good one. They were not prepared and are still unsure about how to manage a 21-year-old living under their roof with a mental illness,” he admits. Terrence’s family made him feel like a crazy, irrational individual who no longer met the criteria for what they considered “normal.” The stigma within his home distanced Terrence from the support system he was accustomed to. “My family’s reaction made it harder to handle my academics, mental illness, and general life,” he says. “I felt uncomfortable being home and did everything I could to stay away because I felt more comfortable being somewhere my illness was either not in question or better understood.” When we discussed how his f a m i l y reacted to his diagnosis, Te r r e n c e acknowledged that you can only react to what you know and understand. “My family had no education on the subject. How do you manage a person with a mental illness?” Stigma challenges us in our own minds, our classrooms, and our support networks. It is what is left behind
from the old ways of thinking about mental health. Dr. Tanya Lewis, Director of U of T’s Accessibility Services, noted that we are still facing an attitude adjustment towards mental health, disability and accessibility. “For a long time we’ve been in a medical model where it says there is something wrong with you – a mental illness – and you need to do the rehabilitation to fix yourself to fit into the world with everybody else,” she explained. But this system of thought has largely been replaced. “The [newer] term Accessibility Services comes out of disability studies that says what creates the disability is the world in which we live … the world creates what we call disability barriers.” Lewis references someone with a physical disability as an analogy: they might not have trouble accessing what they need until they are confronted with a world in which stairs have been invented and adopted as the norm. Mental health is the same. Robb also acknowledged that mental health assumptions need to change, and offered her own insight on how stigma can be tackled. “It’s [about] continuing to have an open discussion that’s not judgement-laden,” she says. “It’s reminding people that taking care of your mental health is no different than physical health.” We stand at a threshold for mental health discourse. No matter how much training and educating is done, it seems like the old way of thinking about mental health still inevitably emerges. If we – whether it is the student body, the university, or the individuals that work at the university – hope to have a truly equal system, then we must make a new one. One that allows those affected by mental health to truly participate in society like the fully capable individuals they are. One that looks at the stigma of the old guard and challenges, deconstructs, and discards the disability barriers it creates. One in which I can align my pens and use them too.
×× miles chic
UNDERAGE BLUES Provincial liquor laws deal another blow to all-ages entertainment Katherine Gillard × Writer
Teenage music fans will lose another avenue of live music enjoyment this month with new changes to liquor bylaws in bars, which will force certain venues to stop hosting all-ages concerts. Under the new bylaw, people under the age of 19 will be unable to attend shows or perform at any liquor-primary venues. Combined with the already limited options for safe, all-ages events in the city, this will perpetuate the decline in available entertainment. As the Safe Amplification Site Society states on their website, “There is a tremendous amount of incredible talent in Vancouver, but with no reliable place to perform, artists either move elsewhere, struggle to get by with illegal and unsustainable venues, or give up on performing altogether.” Effective Jan. 15, B.C. changed its liquor laws by banning all-ages events at venues with liquor-primary licenses. The ban will affect venues that until now have been able to request temporary de-licensing in order to hold all-ages events. According to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch, the purpose of the de-licensing provision was to give nightclubs the opportunity to hold events as long as minors would be kept safe and under supervision. The Rickshaw Theatre in downtown Vancouver previously used this de-licensing provision frequently, but will now no longer be able to hold all-ages shows. In the past, artists such as Steve Aoki, Wire, and a wide variety of punk and metal bands have played allages shows at the Rickshaw, which have tended to be much cheaper than all-ages shows at non-bar venues such as Rogers Arena or the Vogue Theatre. This means that for those looking for a ticket under $20, the options are slim, because tickets are pricier at the current set of all-ages venues. Mo Tarmohamed, manager at the Rickshaw believes that the LCLB is just trying to remove a minor problem rather than attempting to find a meaningful solution to a cultural problem. “There’s no solid reason for it, I think there were one or two complaints and instead of dealing with it they’re brushing with one stroke to get rid of it all.” Under the previous law, on the nights of the de-licensed events, bar owners would lock up their
alcohol and it would not be served. Some clubs in the city, such as AuBar, Gorg-o-mish or Shine, known for holding alcohol-free after-grad parties, will not be able to anymore, due to rumours of pre-drinking for these events being brought up by concerned parents. According to a ministry spokesperson from the LCLB, “The change was required to address growing public safety concerns from police, local governments, teachers and parents about teenagers consuming alcohol before, after and during all-ages events hosted at delicensed bars and nightclubs.” Despite this, it cannot be said that the allages events are the sole cause of binge drinking in youth. The way that this is being handled is what provincial NDP member Spencer ChandraHerbert referred to as, “using a sledgehammer to swat a fly.” Underage drinking seems to be a problem regardless of the events being held in the city. Tarmohamed commented that, “You’re going to have kids and they’re going to drink wherever they congregate. We don’t serve drinks [at all-ages events], unlike at a football game or hockey game where someone can buy you a drink.” Tarmohamed believes that the government may have received a few complaints about certain minor events and applied the issue to everyone that holds all-ages events. As Darius Minwalla, general manager at the Biltmore Cabaret said in an interview with the Globe and Mail earlier this month, “People under 19 like music too, and a
lot of them don’t care about drinking.” Chris Childs, the manager at AuBar nightclub was also caught off-guard by the new ban, and believes that minors are going to drink, with or without all-ages events. Childs said that, “Under-age events continue to take place in many different locations, only now all of these events can be held at venues or other places where there is no notice and little to no accountability…out of sight and out of mind.” Childs may be right – without a place to go that has proper security and trained staff, youth may be in more danger when attending events. Events being held at all-ages venues do patdown patrons and deny entry to those that are intoxicated. Tarmohamed agrees with this, saying, “There will probably be more illegal, underground events, not in a regulated way. We’ve gone through permits; we have fire exits and know our capacity. If it’s overcrowded it takes away from a safe environment.” With the bar closed at events there is no way of minors drinking, but when it is an event that isn’t regulated, minors are able to drink, and will not be turned away at the door for being intoxicated. Both the Rickshaw and AuBar will be affected by this new provision and will be unable to de-license, despite having previously followed the law and kept safety measures in place. This could be because of the government’s other reason for changing the bylaw, which is that de-licensing venues has become too much work. The demand
for de-licensing has increased from 511 requests in 2007 to 740 requests in 2012. According to the ministry, “Of the 2,328 licensed liquor-primary establishments in the province, approximately 20 applied last year to de-licence and host all-ages events.” Although this will affect many theatres and bars, some will not be affected. The Vogue and the Rio Theatre will remain the same because they are live event theatres, as well as the Commodore Ballroom because of its “food primary” and “liquor primary” licenses. The Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the Orpheum will not be affected either. However, for theatres like the Rickshaw this new directive will cost them. Tarmohamed says it will lead to a small loss of revenue, and also “it reduces one avenue of having an event.” Advocate for the all-ages movement, Ryan McCormick is on the board of directors at Safe Amplification Site Society, which is a non-profit group that aims to create a permanent all-ages venue in Vancouver. McCormick agrees that there aren’t enough places holding these all-ages events. “It’s important that all-ages means all people. To me it’s just as ridiculous as excluding based on sex or based on race, which were abandoned in the 1950s. All events should be all-ages, [and] this is a step in the wrong direction.” While Safe Amp has not yet set up a permanent space, they do hold other events at various locations. The organization has found that Vancouver makes it hard to find locations. It can also be difficult to own any bar, club or venue in this city with its fussy liquor laws. Zak Pashak, owner of the Biltmore Cabaret, has experience in Calgary where he owned a bar and says Vancouver is harder to navigate, but has improved somewhat over the years. Some of the specific rules are simply strange though. “We have to buy beer that’s warm,” says Pashak. With laws breaking down even the temperature of beer, it’s debatable whether it will ever become easier to navigate Vancouver’s liquor laws and make arrangements for all-ages shows. For now, youth will have to pay a bit more for tickets and hope that LCLB loosens up and gives them back their after-grads and cheap concerts.
×× STEFAN TOSHEFF
Registration ends February 22, 2013 GET YOUR TEAM REGISTERED! WWW.NSSOCCER.COM ×× stefan tosheff
46 issue N o . 13
Safe and fun, non-competitive and competitive division. Ages 17+ welcome!
IAL SPEC ION: OT PROM r $80 fo s! me 15 Ga
Stay out of the rain this spring and play indoors on turf!
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Ballet world takes a pirouette into new era JJ Brewis
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46 issue N o . 13
You wake up just before the crack of dawn to rehearse in a studio for a steady eight and a half hours. Your day is not over. Afterward, there are a few more hours of personal training, and then even more time dedicated to your selected method of cross-training, from rock climbing to yoga or pilates. “That’s the average day,” says Emily Molnar, the Artistic Director and Choreographer at Ballet BC in Vancouver. “You’re looking at about eight to nine hours of training of the body plus they’re doing therapy on top of that and then when they start performing and going on tour it becomes even more strenuous.” An entire world of artistic pursuit is achievable in ballet – a discipline that combines sheer technical prowess with an acute artistic vision. Many young dancers leave home at an early age to pursue their dreams. To those who take centre stage with years of training behind them, the payoff can be worth it. But success does not come without the challenges of physicality and time constraint, just two pieces within a vast number of components involved in the precision of a ballet dancer.
STEP INSIDE THE SLIPPERS The ballet realm is unique in that it is viewed from the outside as a mostly artistic undertaking with little attention paid to the intense physical commitment given by those involved.
“Statistically, it’s been shown that ballet dancers and gymnasts are actually the hardest professions to excel at, because of the demands [they] require creatively [and] physically. The talent needs to be met on so many different levels,” Molnar says. Certainly the media portrayal of the ballet dancer is far off from the reality inside the studio and onstage. Katrina Bois, a ballet dancer and Artistic Staff Member for Coastal City Ballet, agrees. “One of the biggest misconceptions of the art form of ballet is that ballet dancers are not intelligent. In reality, it takes a lot of knowledge to make it in the ballet world, ranging in many topics including physics, geometry, anatomy, mathematics and music, among others.” Bois adds that the world of ballet is propelled into its future by an evolving concept of what ballet means. “Ballet training is starting to focus more and more on scientific principles instead of just passing from one teacher to another, generation by generation.” It’s a delicate process that requires attention to the most minute details. “They have to basically break down their entire body into very tiny areas where they can put tons of expression. So they have to be incredibly fluid with what the body can do,” Molnar says. The careful physicality meets with equal attention to the artistic concepts so that the dancer becomes a living, breathing work of art. “They have to be wanting to say something with it as an artist so they have something to share with an audience because of course it’s a live art. It’s about trying to translate something to the greater good of society.” Makaila Wallace, a ballet dancer who recently celebrated her 10th anniversary with Ballet BC, has lived on this schedule for most of her life,
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CLASSICAL CONTEMPORARIES beginning ballet at age six, studying at Royal Winnipeg Ballet School and performing in the Royal Swedish Ballet, before returning to Canada. “A lot of people don’t understand how many hours actually go into the training everyday aspect of dance. Not only in training but that it is in a way a lifestyle choice…not a lifestyle choice, a life choice,” she says. And as daunting as it may seem to those not in her slippers, she wouldn’t have it any other way.
THE ARTFUL ATHLETE
SHAKE THAT BODY Ballet has existed for centuries, a byproduct of the fact that the human body is always moving. Regardless of whether we are doing a pirouette or laying on the couch, the insides of our bodies never stop moving, pumping a steady stream of blood and oxygen throughout. It’s only natural then, that ballet has become a go-to for those wanting to connect their inner and outer body. “We’re moving in a womb; everyone is a dancer, and everyone is connected to movement. I think it’s becoming a language people really connect to nowadays,” Molnar says. “It’s been proven that there’s more kids taking dance classes on Saturdays than kids taking hockey. Kids love to move and when you put music to that and you’re able to express yourself through it, there’s a reason why it’s one of the first forms of expression,” says Molnar. Children start in dance classes as young as two years old, and drop-in classes exist for seniors who dance into their 80s or 90s. “People connect to dance all the way to the end of their life because it makes them feel good. It offers many different levels, from being able to be healthy with your body, to an outlet to be able to express one’s self,” Molnar adds.
A WORLD OF ITS OWN
CURTAIN CALL Molnar explains that ballet is dynamic in its connection to both history and the future. “Throughout our world, also in folklore as a form of culture, language and identity for societies, up to an expression of art, dance comes into our society on many different levels and they’re all very important and they all interact creating ways of what it is to dance.” For Wallace, life off stage is greater because of what she’s achieved in front of her audiences. “Being a dancer is one of my things that I hold in my heart, to constantly succeed and constantly question myself and to dig deeper in myself – and hopefully find places of vulnerability that when I’m onstage people can connect parts of themselves that they maybe weren’t aware of.”
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“Our work environment doesn’t work like a lot of office work environments,” Molnar explains. “For example, someone will come into our studio and they’ll see within a few minutes a group of dancers who may not even speak the same language, someone like a Japanese speaker, a French speaker and an English speaker, and within five minutes they will be working with each other, touching each other, having to exchange working with each other’s bodies, being able to partner each other, being able to translate ideas, sharing an expression of ideas, dialoguing without ever exchanging anything verbally.” Molnar also attributes a lot of the magic of a ballet performance to the connectivity obtained
by a dancer being live in front of their audience and the captivation that comes with such a moment. The isolation of the Black Swan then, is merely a fictionalized account. “We’re very much not isolated,” Molnar adds. “We might be intimate in the way we build the work, but it’s very much a public and community based event.”
The skilled ballet dancer, according to Molnar, is one who marries an artistic creativity with the utmost physical capabilities. “Often the example I give is a ballet dancer is like putting a soccer player together with a painter. It’s someone able to work on a very acute level with their instrument – their instrument obviously is their body – so they have to be able to have an agility and a flexibility and a sense of endurance and make it look effortless on so many levels.” The technical side can be taught beginning from a young age, and the artistic side does some catch-up work in most cases, says Wallace. “You do have to have soul. Obviously you do need training and technique in order to express yourself through the movement. The more you practice, the more you’re able to articulate very small nuances of movement.” She continues, “With age and experience, you become more exposed to more things and because of that you’re able to bring your own life experiences and everything else into your movement so the artistic element does eventually come from age and experience.” Bois agrees. “The physical training process of ballet is intense. The best comparison is that of an Olympic athlete. However, because ballet combines physical hurdles as well as artistic maturity, training can take even longer than that for athletes. While it is not uncommon to see Olympic gymnasts aged 16, that is quite uncommon in ballet because by the age of 16,
although dancers have the physical training necessary, they have not yet mastered the artistic elements required to be a good ballet dancer.” “It’s such a hard thing to say because some people maybe have less training but are such beautiful artists, and the other way around really varies from dancer to dancer,” says Wallace. “Ideally [for] a really good artist, you want to have both.”
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Like any art or sporting endeavour, the realm of ballet appears quite different to spectators than those involved in the practice. It’s a discipline that many people seem to think they understand. Pop culture portrayals like the competitive overthe-edge intensity by Natalie Portman in Black Swan or the isolation faced by Billy Elliot paint ballet in a very specific light which is not always flattering. Most insiders will tell you that dancers are hardest on themselves and seek out excellence on a personal level rather than against peers. Wallace explains that it’s more about inspiration than competition. “In my competitive nature, you might see somebody do something and think ‘Wow that was really fantastic’ and maybe ask for their help. It’s not ‘they did it that way, I’m gonna do it better’.” Such is the nature then, of the ballet dancer. A constant determination to be in the best form, and the best dancer one can be becomes the ultimate goal. “We share everything we do in a live performance; we create community every time we get on stage,” says Molnar, who felt the appeal of ballet from a young age. “I started moving around my house when I was two or three. It made a lot of sense to me. My experience was when I was dancing, when I was moving, when I was moving with music, when I was able to express myself with my instrument, with my body, that ended up being my language that I felt most at home and most alive with who I am.” “It’s unfortunate that [a film such as Black Swan] would be the only exposure that somebody would get to dance because that’s absolutely not all of what dance is,” Wallace adds. “Of course there are elements of truth within some of these dance films. But they pretty much always tend to be over exaggerated.” The only way to make the public aware of the reality of the situation is to fill the seats at any performance. “That’s why it’s so awesome that people come to performances and go to different kinds of dance performances because what’s seen in the mainstream is absolutely not the entire truth of what we do.” Wallace sees the challenges and hard times as a part of the big picture, finding light in the dark times. “There could be some things that are viewed as being very challenging and in a lot of ways they are. But at the same time, the same things are what make being a dancer so unique and special.” Wallace adds that leaving home at a young age to train and the physical pain endured as important roadmarks on the journey of selfdiscovery in training. “A lot of what could be viewed as sacrifices is one thing, but at the same time that’s what makes it such a beautiful profession and a really special life experience to have.”
The practice of ballet has come a long way today, with contemporary ballet performances becoming just as much of a significant component as the classical pieces like Swan Lake that infiltrated social consciousness years ago. “My feeling is perhaps that people have not been exposed to what ballet has developed to. Maybe they have a notion that ballet is still what it was 50 or 60 years ago or even prior to that in its classical rendition. Ballet has moved on over the years tremendously in its physicality and its conceptualization,” Molnar says. The traditional form of mime and gesture that struck a chord with audiences years ago still exists, and classical ballet productions are still a large part of the cultural market. But it is contemporary ballet that pushes the envelope now. Stewed in a knowledge and foundation of classical capabilities, the contemporary form incorporates modern dance, creating a captivating and refreshing twist on the form. “Ballet has been very much innovated. So I think people just may not be exposed to that,” Molnar continues, “but I think that’s changing. Maybe people just haven’t been exposed to performances of companies showing that ballet has moved on.” The classical and contemporary identities of ballet are separate entities, certainly. But there is still a draw for both sides given how unique and opposite the two are. “The main difference between classical ballet versus modern is style. Although many people believe ballet dancers are ‘stiff’ and modern dancers are ‘loose’ this is not the case,” Bois explains. “Especially today, dancers have to be able to dance both styles to make it into a professional career as ballet companies have a very diverse repertoire.”
Mon. Jan. 21
Marlon Blackwell Do you watch How I Met Your Mother? Ted Mosby is an architect, and he’s really cool. Therefore, all architects are cool. And Marlon Blackwell is an architect! He’s doing a lecture, presumably on architecture? (Funnily enough, Mosby also was a professor teaching students about architecture.) Go and learn! 6:30 p.m., Orpheum Annex. Free.
PHOTOG The performance is drawn from real-life experiences of conflict photographers, and is presented as part of the PuSh festival. It sounds like it’s going to be amazing, and possibly a tear-jerker? It is dedicated to Tim Hetherington, an important contributor to the work who was tragically killed in April 2011 while covering the conflict in Libya. Numerous showtimes, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. $27.
Railtown Supper Party: Classic Italian The Vancouver Urban Winery is giving you the chance to try out delicious food - long table style! I love long table dinners. You sit around with a bunch of strangers, and you’re all drinking huge mugs of beer and feeling like you’re in the Shire or something and by the end you’re all BFFs because you’re a little hobbit-drunk. That’s what happened to me, anyway. 6:30 p.m., Vancouver Urban Winery. $65.
Red Wanting Blue This little number is an indie rock group out of Ohio. They’ve been around for a bit, and are supposed to be amazing live. They’ve even been on David Letterman, and basically define “up and coming.” 8 p.m., Media Club. $10.
Legal @ Lunch: Everything You Need to Know about Mediation Have you ever been bored on your lunch break? It sucks. Luckily, with Legal @ Lunch you can learn while eating your soggy sandwich. In this session, you’ll learn all about mediation and why it can be a better option than heading to court. 12 p.m., People’s Law School. Free.
Connecting to your Core These guys hear problems like “My back hurts and then I stop exercising and it gets better, but then I keep putting on weight and I don’t like it, so like WHAT DO I DO?!” You know, things like that. Come to this session, and discover the missing link between pain and health! All your problems will be solved and you will be happy again. It’s expensive though. 7 p.m., Vancouver Raquets Club. $190.
Yes Bear / Heard In The Mountains What a killer line-up! You’ve got Yes Bear, who are apparently like an action movie on 1.5x speed and Heard In The Mountains, who would silence everything if they were in the mountains. I don’t make this stuff up! It’s in the Facebook event description. 9 p.m., the Astoria. $5.
John Smith: Shorts I’m no film buff, so when I first saw this I thought this was about John Smith’s shorts. Turns out it’s something even better – the presentation, a part of the PuSh festival, will screen a number of his shorts which are associated with “structural film.” There’s one called The Girl Chewing Gum, by which I am particularly intrigued. 7 p.m., Contemporary Art Gallery. Free!
Yellow Moon I’m not too sure what this is but it’s described as “half Bonnie and Clyde, half Romeo and Juliet” which quite frankly sounds badass. The best part is that it’s performed in French with English surtitles on the Thursday and Saturday performances (not today). 8 p.m., various dates. $24.
Vancouver’s Next Drag Superstar Gentlemen start your engines...and may the best woman WIN!!” This fun time will feature special VIP guest, Sharon Needles the winner of RuPaul's Drag Race Season 4! If you win in Vancouver you will be a VIP guest at the Drag Race Finale Party in NYC! Sounds insane! 9 p.m., SHINE nightclub. $5.
Dealing with Perfectionism Workshop Well, I am certainly not a perfectionist. But in grade eight I had to work with one and he was mad because I wasn’t drawing a line on the paper before cutting it and things got a little hostile. Long story short his mom had to come in and do breathing exercises with us before we could finish making a poster about polar bears. Yikes. 11:30 a.m., BR267. Free.
Cap Cinephiles: 2001: A Space Odyssey This is what many would call a “classic,” because it broke new barriers in the film industry. It’s even been ranked as the best science fiction film of all time. FUN FACT: I have not seen it. I am probably missing out. 5 p.m., Bosa Centre for Film and Animation. Free.
LITANY Queer Reading Series Litany is a quarterly reading series that showcases emerging and established queer writers. This will be their first reading, and it sounds like it’s going to be great. “Giveaways, general queeriment, and lots of chances to meet and greet new and old friends will also occur!” 7 p.m., Rhizome Café. $1.
Ballet BC: Encore Did you just read our cover feature about ballet and now you’re feeling inspired? Now’s your chance to experience the real ballet we wrote about - different from Billy Elliot or Black Swan (which, by the way, is the single most terrifying movie I have ever seen, don’t watch it). 8 p.m., Queen Elizabeth Theatre. $30-$78. Aussie Rules!
Aussie Rules It’s Australia’s Birthday, and the only way to celebrate it properly is by doing a wine tasting of wines from Down Under. Yum! Apparently you’ll be able to find some “hidden gems,” which for me will be trying any kind of wine that isn’t the one with the kangaroo on it, which honestly I’m not even sure is from Australia. 7 p.m., Stanley Park Pavilion. $55.
Book Binding Workshop I remember in elementary school we’d always write our own stories, and then illustrate them, and then bind them with our own covers we had made. It was so special and made me want to keep the story forever and ever, even though now I have no idea where it is. In this workshop you know how to bind a book for real, and it sounds pretty amazing. 1 p.m., 113 E. Pender. $85.
Black Before February: The Truth “Two days of celebrating, strategizing and reflecting on the experiences of people who walk in the world as Black every month of the year.” It will be a performance night showcasing powerful and innovative women. Check out their second night on Jan. 27 – Black Before February: Witnessing the Revolution. 5 p.m., Roundhouse Community Centre. Free.
Ed Henderson - concert and CD launch Ed Henderson has a new CD, which is really exciting because he’s amazing on guitar. I watched a YouTube video to hear what kind of music he makes, and ended up watching this one from a Shakespeare festival where they talked about Shakespeare forever before there was any music playing. Oh well. 7:30 p.m., Pyatt Hall. $20.
Indie I Do By now we all know I love wedding shows, but this one has a special little twist – it is designed specifically for the couple looking for a wedding with “unique, personal style.” The vendors are all super cool, and if you get there early, you might even get a swag bag! Go on, plan your future real/fictional wedding and give it “a touch of personality!” 11 a.m., Heritage Hall. $15/$20.
January Flea Market The only time I’ve been to a flea market it was terrifying. I wanted some Disney DVDs, which I eventually purchased, but I wasn’t going to because I didn’t want to haggle. That is also the reason I didn’t get a giant stuffed fish, which was pretty cool but the lady wanted $20 for it. Like, come on. 10 a.m., King George Secondary School gymnasium. $1.
Language of Rhythm Project Listen to awesome percussionists strut their stuff and then learn to drum yourself! This would be really handy for me because apparently I can’t clap on rhythm and it’s quite embarrassing; I feel like this could be a potential solution. 12 p.m., Trout Lake Community Centre. Free.
Vancouver Active Chess Tournament Every time I think of chess I either think of that Pixar short where the guy plays chess by himself (CUTEST old man ever), or the giant game of wizard’s chess Harry and Ron play when Ron finally gets a chance to be in the spotlight without Harry being a jerk and stealing it away. I imagine that this tournament will be a hybrid of the two. 10 a.m., Vancouver Chess School. $25.
Street Fight If you’ve never been to an improv comedy show, now is your chance! This time around you’ll witness “gut-busting comedy punch by laughter face slap” and it sounds hilarious. This event made the calendar because their poster is rad, so here’s a PRO TIP: have a sweet poster, and we’ll slot you in. 8 p.m., Havana Theatre. $10.
fri. Jan. 25 sat. Jan. 26
Niki and the Dove at Electric Owl They’re from Sweden, they’re electro pop, they’re Niki and the Dove! Their songs are bouncy and very electro poppy. Come ready to dance. 9 p.m., Electric Owl. $13.
Rain City Chronicles This event gives Vancouverites the chance to tell their true stories. It’s fantastic. 7 p.m., Orpheum Annex. $12.
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Dine Out Vancouver Everyone loves food! Take advantage of this festival to try lots of tasty food for decent prices. If you want you can even book a hotel room as part of a package, so after you’ve been gluttonous you can roll into the elevator and crash into a sleep coma. Various times and locations. Range of prices.
A Tribute to Clare Fischer “This year’s annual tribute pays homage to Clare Fischer one year after he passed away at the age of 83. The Grammy winning American composer, arranger and pianist has secured an honorable place in jazz, pop and R&B history.” Cool! 8 p.m., NSCU Centre. $28/$25.
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Calendar@ c a p i l a n o c o u r i e r . c o m
sun. Jan. 27
Thurs. Jan. 24
Wed. Jan. 23
Colin Spensley’s Birthday Today is our Distribution Manager’s birthday! He is Colin and he is the reason that the papers make it to the stands every week. Say hi to him! If you want to give him a really happy birthday, get him some notebooks or stuff related to music. He loves that shit! All day, Colin’s house. Cost of birthday present.
Tues. Jan. 22
Street Fight If you’ve never been to an improv comedy show, now is your chance! This time around you’ll witness “gut-busting comedy punch by laughter face slap” and it sounds hilarious. This event made the calendar because their poster is rad, so here’s a PRO TIP: have a sweet poster, and we’ll slot you in. 8 p.m., Havana Theatre. $10.
Opinions Editor ×
A Field Goal for Equality?
Italian football player protests racist chants Charlie Black × Writer Oftentimes, sports and sporting events are absolutely Serious Business, capitalization intended. Fans and athletes alike treat the spectacle of professional sporting events with such gravity at times, reaching beyond what self-proclaimed “normal” people would deem common sense. But sometimes, what happens in sports can be much bigger than the game itself, as exhibited in a football game in Italy, where one player made a powerful statement sure to continue resonating through sports and society for quite a while. On Jan. 3, during a friendly match between Italian association football (soccer, as it's known in North America) clubs A.C. Milan and Pro Patria, Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng had enough of fans in the stands chanting racist slurs at Milan's non-white players. He kicked the ball into the stands at the offending fans, took off his jersey and stormed off the field, followed by his teammates in solidarity. Fans of Pro Patria applauded Boateng's leaving the pitch, which Boateng acknowledged as he walked across. A large group of fans then began jeering at the corner of the stands from where the racist barbs originated. Boateng was not only backed by the sympathetic spectators, but also team management. Massimiliano Allegri, head coach of A.C. Milan, has been reported as saying that he and his team would repeat their actions again if any player were racially abused, despite the fact that in regular league play, such actions by players are illegal. “I'm disappointed and saddened but I think it was the right decision not to return to the field out of respect for our players and all other black players,” Allegri told Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
If this game were an official league event and not a friendly match, the actions of Boateng and his teammates would be illegal. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) tells its member clubs that in the case of racially-related abuse, players should tell a referee and continue playing, or face suspension and fines if they take matters into their own hands. Boateng and Allegri, along with A.C. Milan and many other supporters, say that this is no longer an acceptable solution to a problem that has been festering for far too long in Association Football. As sad as it is that racism still permeates in society in such ways, sadder is the fact that this sort of behaviour is not isolated. Last April, the Washington Capitals of the National Hockey League beat the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in overtime of game seven. Joel Ward, a Canadian player of Barbadian descent, was the hero of the game, scoring the OT goal. As the game wrapped up, Boston fans took to Twitter to voice their frustrations, with a frightening number of tweets expressing disgust with Ward not only defeating Boston, but also for being black. The owner of the now-deleted Twitter handle @CrispoCream posted “#bruins just got beat by a nigger [sic] I thought hockey was a white mans game #wtf fuck ward [sic],” seconds after the deciding goal was scored. The difference between the racial abuse hurled at both Boateng and Ward nine months and an ocean away from each other was that while Ward calmly dismissed such online behaviour to media after the game, Boateng had to react during his game to blatant, in-your-face taunting. Ward is among a visible minority in professional ice hockey, with most fans able to count prominent black players in the NHL on both hands. Boateng, however, is among a large number of black players in European Association Football,
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plying his trade in a continent with much closer geographic ties to Africa. The behaviour of fans on both continents is incredibly unsettling. This leaves us to wonder what exactly the appropriate course of action for dealing with racism is, in today’s world. Joel Ward’s subdued dismissal and rising-above provides one path, whilst Kevin-Prince Boateng's powerful statement of defiance – the road less travelled – provides another in navigating such dangerous waters. Racism in hockey is an admittedly rare occurrence, though some players deal with it more so than others (Philadelphia right-winger Wayne Simmonds, a native of Nova Scotia, was met with racist fan behaviour in two separate incidents 13 months apart, one in Ontario and the other in the Czech Republic). In other pro-sports leagues in North America, racism is hardly as visible, though still intermittently occurring. North American behaviour is set and defied by a largely multicultural
society living in close quarters with each other. A live-and-let-live mentality has permeated the cultural consciousness. Europe, however, is a much more divided continent, with so many different ethnic groups interacting and defending their culture as sociopolitical boundaries are constantly challenged and altered. As society moves forward worldwide, the “Old World” has a higher tendency to cling to familiarity and traditions. Boateng’s actions have sent shockwaves through the pro-sports world, and having the support of his team and the fans is an incredibly encouraging sign moving forward. His protests are beginning to send a message loud and clear that racism is not something that will be tolerated anymore. Here's hoping that his defiance does not remain the exception, but becomes the norm in the face of bigotry.
Americans battle the Constitution with Guns Caitlin Manz
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that now, current measures need to be debated. If tragedies have done anything, it has made the U.S. aware that it has a major issue, and it needs to be discussed. Stricter laws preventing guns from being so popularly carried and carelessly stored need to be created – such as new federal gun laws that apply to all and cannot be overridden in different states, as well as laws that hold gun owners accountable for their weapons. These should be applied so that owning a gun is taken less lightly and consequences exist for irresponsible gun owners. While no immediate solution to the gun problems of the United States may soon occur, the only hope for change lies in the passion of the people. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is demanding action on gun laws, and being more vocal than ever about it. President Obama is trying to create some kind of change, and formulated a panel headed by Joe Biden, whose sole concentration is to discuss gun laws. While it may not be a quick and easy fix to ease the citizens out of one of the constitutions that built their country, they are at least talking about it. It is the citizens responsibility to continue to fight for action on gun laws, as they have the chance to speak out and demand results – because now, more than ever, the politicians are listening.
America is a nation dangerously comfortable with guns. Obtaining guns, ammo, lethal automatic weapons and other dangerous paraphernalia is relatively easy, compared to other countries. Their affiliation dates back over 300 years, as its constitution gave people the right to keep and bear arms – something created in the 1700’s that no one yet has seen fit to change. Yet according to the Washington Post, there have been 61 mass shootings, across 30 states, since 1982. It would seem that America should follow Canada’s safer example and create stricter gun laws. America’s current response however, follows a historical pattern of ignoring and misrepresenting the issue at hand: loose gun laws with dangerous consequences. While tragedies continue to happen, there are still politicians that look not towards strengthening restrictive gun laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, but instead seem happy to maintain relaxed gun laws. For example, in Michigan, open guns are legally carried into any place including churches, schools, and daycares. Yet prior to the Sandy Hook tragedy, a concealed
defense. Gian Singh Sandhu, the president of the World Sikh Organization of Canada, states that if a person misuses their Kirpan they would be “looked down upon” by fellow Sikhs. Manvir Singh, a Sikh minister of religion in the U.K., told CBC News that such a person would be considered a traitor, and can be formally stripped of their Sikh title. Sikhs however, have fought to enable the possession of their Kirpans in similar locations the Americans can legally carry guns. After multiple trials in New York City, it became legal for Sikhs to carry their Kirpans into schools, but only if they were enclosed in sheathes and glued with adhesives to prevent the release of the “weapons,” something clearly violating the religious purpose of the Sikh’s Kirpans. It is incredibly hypocritical that Sikhs face such difficulty holding their ceremonial weapon in a country filled with people carrying guns into obscure places, where the most dangerous potential lies in a toddler’s toy car. Not to mention the difference in potency of an automatic weapon to a dagger, which is only lethal if used properly and at close-range. The 300-year-old constitution is what is holding guns so closely to American’s hearts and identities. While some will argue for the right for all to own a gun, it has become more apparent
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weapons bill was being processed, which is now currently in place in Utah, that allows permit holders to carry concealed weapons into public places, and community centres. While the bill was vetoed by Governor Rick Snyder following Dec. 14, Snyder denounced gun laws as the problem to the Connecticut massacre entirely. He instead stated the issue to be proper mental health treatment and diagnosis, relaying that: “It’s difficult to say you can stop them either on school policies or guns, if someone’s truly mentally ill and committed to doing an act like this.” It is, however, the availability of such dangerous weapons that provides an easy for these mass-killings, and recognition of this fact by the leaders of the more weapon-run states could pave the way for change. While Americans are comfortable with their constitutional right to possess guns, they have proved uncomfortable with other religions carrying less lethal weapons, and for more passive reasons. In the Sikh religion it is a sign of their faith to carry a strapped knife, called a Kirpan. They carry the Kirpan not for violent reasons, but as a symbol representing vice and the struggle towards goodness, reminding them of their spiritual morality. The use of the Kirpan is not necessarily respected, and is seen as a last resort, used only for
The NHL Doesn't Care About You
…and you don’t care either Colin Spensley × Writer Our country is one that struggles with its own national identity. Canadian culture is often seen as borrowed or just plain underwhelming and overly polite. However, there is one thing that Canadians can truly identify with and that is of course our national pastime and favourite sport of all, the good old hockey game. The fast-paced winter sport has spawned a year-round fanfare and national playoffs lasting long after all the back road hockey ponds have melted away. So what happens when
the corporate side of the game many of us love and cherish take that very game away? Well, a lot of people get really pissed off and sadly that’s about it. Whether or not you like hockey isn’t truly the issue here. The issue is the helplessness of a group of people in the wake of losing something they care about and the general disregard for the public, as seen with the NHL’s board of governors. Summed up easily, this year’s 100 plus-day NHL lockout was a dispute of billionaires fighting with millionaires. The billionaires (NHL team owners) felt like the millionaires (the actual hockey players) were taking too large a portion of their money. That portion amounted to 57 per cent of the total revenue made by the NHL last year, a staggering $1.87 billion. During the last lockout in 2005, the NHL and NHLPA staged fierce negotiations ending with, for the first time ever, a league-wide salary cap on teams and their players. And that system, not without its flaws, satisfied owners and players for the past seven
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years. Despite the increase in revenue every year since the 2005 lockout, NHL owners still felt like too much money was going to the players. Their initial proposal was to drop the pay of players to 47 per cent within four years. Since the players and the National Hockey League Player's Association refused to abide by this initial proposal, the great lockout of 2012-13 was instigated – which leads us to where we stand today. Right back into the midst of an anxiously awaited hockey season, our heads spinning with a “did that really just happen” look plastered across our faces. Sadly that did just happen. The owners of your favorite NHL sport franchises just spat in your face and offered a team-sponsored towel to wipe it with. That towel however comes at a cost - it’s a $90 seat in a packed arena, a $20 monthly subscription to a hockey cable TV package, a $15 hot wing and beer combo at the local sports pub. It’s watching endless Molson Canadian commercials and the demented blabbering of Don Cherry on Hockey Night In Canada. But why do we give so much of our time, money and attention to a group of people who clearly don’t give a shit about what we think? That reason seems rather obvious – it’s because we love the game of hockey. Fans became very vocal during the initial days of the lockout, claiming boycotts, protests and inexhaustible whining. Sports news outlets that rely heavily on a regular NHL season became strange news-less wastelands of speculation and small talk. And just as it seemed all hope was lost, sports fans turning their attention towards other outlets like football and pornography, low and behold, a tentative agreement between NHL owners and players arrived.
Praise be to Emperor Gary Bettman and Lord Don Fehr. They have found it in their kind hearts to allow a shortened 48 game 2013 hockey season to take place for us joyless plebeians to enjoy. And with a resounding cheer we give thanks. Thank you for almost letting us give up on you, and then reeling us back in. Thank you for leaving the countless number of people employed by or related to your franchise in economic limbo. Thank you for sending some of the best foreign players in the league packing back to their home countries to continue playing the game they truly love. But mostly thank you for making me realize what people really care about in hockey. It’s not just the game they love, for if that was the case amateur and beer league hockey teams would have seen packed stands and a swelling of local fan base. What most people love about hockey is in fact the NHL as we now know it. The glitz and glamour, the rumours, trades, fights, injuries, winnings glory and losings devastation. And, thank goodness, we’re about to get all that back – and all it took was 113 days of corporate negotiation bullshit.
Best Idea Ever. Period.
Online service provides an extra padding during that time of the month Andy Rice
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× Staff Writer
Oh, the dreaded tampon run. Male or female, many of us have found ourselves on one of those late-night pharmacy excursions at some point in our past. For women, I can imagine they’re pretty annoying. For guys, however, they’re downright terrifying. I know this. I remember my first mission quite well – one that had me sprinting through the pouring rain at 11:48 p.m. trying desperately to reach a SaveOn-Foods before closing. My girlfriend at the time had given me specific instructions to pick up a very certain brand, color, and strength of feminine hygiene product. Something “sturdy and reliable,” I was told. This month, apparently, was “a bad one” and the fun had already begun. As clueless as I was about the task at hand, I figured it was best just to go with the flow. So there I was, scouring the shelves for Tampax Super Plus, the fortified, burly cousin of what I assumed would have been her typical choice. You’d think that narrowing it down to a single brand would have helped but that only eliminated about a quarter of my options. I was in way over my head. There were so many boxes to choose from, it was simply too much to absorb. Nevertheless, by 11:58 p.m. I had succeeded in finding what I...er...she needed and was on my way to the ice cream aisle for a tub of chocolate Haagen-Dazs. This may have been my first time as a delivery boy for menstrual accessories, but somehow I knew better than to return with just the tampons.
At the stroke of midnight I was standing at the checkout, face-to-face with a cashier I instantly recognized from my second-year Economics class. “Rough night, buddy?” he said with a snicker. Turning redder than anything the average tampon would ever soak up in its short lifetime, I handed him a $20 bill and waited for the change, thankful that my lovely lady friend hadn’t decided to spring a leak earlier that afternoon when the store was more populated. As I ran back home through the rain, I began wondering if a service existed that could make “Shark Week” just a little more tolerable for everyone involved. Four years later, I’m proud to announce to you that such a thing does exist. In retrospect, I wish I would have known about it in that particular phase of my life but alas, better late than never I suppose – not unlike a period itself. Behold Le Parcel, a super-convenient online ordering service that takes away the guesswork for guys and the grunt work for girls. The idea is fantastic. Women can visit the company’s website, Leparcel.com, place an order and have feminine hygiene products delivered right to their front door, figuratively and literally. No strings attached, unless of course tampons were ordered. The good folks at Le Parcel have even taken it one step further. Not only are there dozens of different products available from the leading brands but there’s also an option to have their arrival coincide with the start of a customer’s menstrual cycle. For only $15 per month women can mix and match up to 30 items, from tampons to pads to panty liners. But wait, there’s more. Included in each little care package are chocolates, cosmetics, and what
the company website describes as a “surprise monthly gift.” All in all, there is no better way to spend money online. As a guy, I’ve experienced the embarrassment and supreme mental anguish of showing my face at a grocery store checkout while holding a product ending in a -pax or -tex suffix. I know it’s only a matter of time before a late-night pilgrimage for pads is required of me again and a man doesn’t easily forget these things.
Ladies, I'm simply asking you to consider this convenient online service. Unless you’re one of those doomsday preppers, which I’m not sure is even a valid hobby anymore, I can’t imagine you have a cupboard full of tampons and chocolates kicking around. Surely Le Parcel is of some use to you. Give it some thought. It’s a bloody good idea if you ask me!
×× lydia fu
caboose Editor ×
DEAR MOTHER Scott Moraes × Humour and Fiction Editor I must start by disclaiming any offensive intent in touching on sensitive topics, but recent developments in my research warrant some delicate discussion. There is a significant issue which permeates the public life of this strange people in this strange land; an issue completely ignored by mainstream accounts and the Lonely Planet guide, as well as most of the anthropological literature. I refer to the people's undeniable obsession with phallic shapes. Mother, I swear to God, every single object with the slightest resemblance to the male organ provokes giggles and erotic reactions. I don't just mean bananas and cucumbers. Pencils, sausages, gear sticks, pop bottles, hand railings, lipsticks, pipes... At first I interpreted these signs merely as a reaction to my faulty pronunciation or grammatical struggle with the language, but a pattern became readily apparent. A quick trip to the drug store just the other day indicated that even a toothpaste tube was a strong trigger, simply because its element is squirted from within (a gesture I sadly resorted to in an apparently hyper graphic fashion). I'm at odds with myself trying to determine whether this obsession is the cause or the consequence of the high level of sexual activity throughout the country. I've gone through extensive efforts to restrict my vocabulary to strictly non-phallic terms. I am, as you know, a cultural relativist for the most part, but I find this sort of behaviour highly erratic and objectionable. I have attempted to the best of my knowledge to interpret the underlying Freudian themes which might be responsible for such behaviours, but to no avail. It strikes me as very unlikely that a whole nation would be so affected with erotic imagery as to relate and reconcile every possible shape to the memory of a penis. Wouldn't you agree?
I fear that this widespread pathology may be even broader in scope than I first imagined. I've also begun to notice a slight obsession with silicone breast implants. Plastic surgery clinics are more plentiful than coffee houses, and some appear to be quite clandestine, on the fringes of medical accreditation because of overwhelming demand, I suppose. Most shockingly, such services are even advertised in the local yellow pages or glued to lampposts, along with coupons and special offers. I've begun to undertake unofficial research in order to establish, hopefully, an empirical case. In an amusing conversation, a middle-aged woman told me in broken English that the competition is fierce. Being a wife is a young people's game. “You sag, you lag” seems to be a fairly universal motto within the female community. A keen observer would promptly realize that the irregularity in the size of female breasts is hardly a matter of genetics. Ninety-year-old ladies with walking canes can be seen displaying nature-defying pairs of extra-firm, non-wobbly breasts. It is terrifyingly atrocious to the foreign eye, but seemingly natural to the indigenous eye. Addressing your concerns, I'm glad to inform you that the loneliness that pervaded my first few weeks has been somewhat alleviated. I've struck mild friendships with English and French-speaking tourists but regrettably one has fallen victim to a stray bullet in a crossfire between drug dealers and the police, and another was stabbed in the stomach by a juvenile delinquent. It is a dreary reality I must accept, but my ethnographic experience has endowed me with the precious gift of blending in. I have purchased local sandals and a pair of jerseys from the favourite local soccer team. Also, although it is a setback on my environmental sustainability pledge, I've taken to littering the streets. Please spare me your judgement, Mother. Not doing so would be the ultimate betrayal of the disguise and would put my life immediately at risk. If it's any consolation, you should know that whenever possible, I try to litter according to a quick
reasoning on the rules of decomposition. I've also become accustomed to carefully observing general body language and subsequently adopting certain traits. For example, wearing loose underwear forces me to perform constant manual adjustment, which adds to my successful characterization of a local. I've also taken to another pet topic: the local soap operas. They stray immensely from the stereotypes commonly ascribed to them. Without understanding most of what's being spoken, I follow the plots infallibly. Such a characteristic is by itself an impressive aspect of their artistic value. They are widely watched ×× susan li by people of all ages and social backgrounds, thereby uniting all. Broadly touching on topics such as insufficient or even aggravating. Perhaps you love, jealousy, betrayal, sexuality, economics, could share your recipe for that homemade politics, corruption and sport, it is a deeply lay- vinegar-orange zest spray solution? I certainly miss ered medium through which a whole society is that smell. portrayed. They must be heavily influenced by Mother, I sincerely apologize if any disturbing silent era masterpieces (G.W. Pabst and Murnau imagery has affected (if only temporarily) your most probably), although a local friend assures outlook on objects of a certain shape. Remind me they are merely based on day-to-day life and Father I have been unable to photograph a wild written by an inept collective of greedy elitists. tiger in an urban setting because tigers are not He describes the whole existence of soap operas as indigenous to this continent, but if he insists exploitative, sexist, and an instrument that once again, I will attempt to fool him with a perpetuates behavioural issues. I told him that as composite image. with most matters relating to culture, one must welcome a distant unaccustomed eye to provide a Love, fresh perspective. His contempt was unshakable. I have been sleep deprived due to intense heat, Your son. and migraines are intermittent. The smells of sweat, deodorant and insecticide add to a horrific stench in my room, which deeply disturbs me. All my attempts to alleviate it have so far been
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caboose Editor ×
MY BED Celina Kurz
DAY DRUNK Anna L. Beedes
BALLOONS Lauren Gargiulo
DOG PAINTING Samantha Thompson
You know when you’re in bed and you never wanna leave? That’s me every single time I go to bed. Part of this is because my house is so cold that it is almost as cold as it is outside and my bed is the only place that I can cover myself in blankets and feel warm. Also, I love sleeping! I just had a crazy dream that I was at my aunt’s house and she had two flats of Kool-Aid packets and I took one and she said, “Trying some of the non-carbonated soda, eh?” In that dream I also went to the library. I love the library! My bed: 5 beds out of 5.
So yesterday I got day drunk. I was supposed to hand out résumés, and find a way to pay tuition. But instead I hid in a bar, thinking that I would find the answers at the bottom of beer glasses. Boy, was I wrong. All I found was some kind of hangover, and a guy named Mark who wanted to kiss my cheek and smoke a hookah. Mark was really into it – me, not so much. I was happy in my little hole, neglecting life, and wasn’t really looking for company. So instead of directly asking him to leave, I just starting talking about raunchy sex columns, and writing about sex, and having sex, and how it’s weird to think of parents having sex, and how happy cave men would’ve been to first discover it. I didn’t know that someone could longboard away from me that quickly. And I snuggled into the night, walking home with just me, my future hangover, and a new idea for a sex column.
Balloons are things of evil. While most people are convinced that they’re fun party things to toss around and suck helium from so their voices sound weird, I’m one of the few people who know the truth. They’re terrifying, evil rubber things that can pop any time anywhere. That terrifies me. The correct term for “I’m scared shitless of balloons, don’t laugh, they will take over the world some day,” is Globophobia. It’s a huge problem when at parades. And birthday parties, baby showers, graduations and almost any celebratory event. Except funerals, which is a good thing because for some odd reason people think balloons bring joy. Last time I checked, fear isn’t joy. How can anyone not quake in terror at giant balloons of cartoon characters? That’s why the game of balloon darts was invented. To destroyas many of those evil air-filled rubber beings of terror as quickly as possible.
I recently stayed at this darling BnB that was carefully decorated with all sorts of neat trinkets. There were lots of cat things, and photographs, but the best thing of all was this giant painting of a puppy. Each stroke carefully outlined his beautiful pieces of fur, his mishmash of brown, black, tan coat – perfectly blended. His hazel eyes stare out from the canvas, willing you to say hello, to pat him on the head, to welcome him into your home – and your heart. The puppy’s name is Patches, even though I know you’re not supposed to name it because when you name it you become attached and then you never want to say goodbye, but I couldn’t help it! His eyes told me to name him that, and he loves it! I spent the whole trip in pure bliss because I knew that this little puppy would scare away any nightmares and keep me safe. My friends all went to the local art gallery which they said was filled with “true masterpieces,” but I know the truth: the only art the world ever needs can be found in the eyes of this soulful 2D pup.
WELCOME TO THE HOT CHART MOTHERFUCKER HOCKEY RETURNS COURIER STAFF REJOICES THE GUY ON CAMPUS WHO DRIVES A FIAT RESPECT, BROTHER
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D.O.A. IS BREAKING UP AND YOU JUST FOUND OUT ABOUT IT FROM THE HOT CHART
NOBODY GIVES A SHIT ABOUT D.O.A. WAS THE IMPLICATION THERE QUINOA WE CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THIS STUFF! THE RESURGENCE OF ECSTASY REFERENCES IN RAP MUSIC ELSEWHERE, MOBY SIPS SIZZURP TOMMY LEE JONES THE MAN FOREVER A TORONTO-STYLE PIZZA IT’S JUST A REGULAR PIZZA BUT BAD HUMOUR EDITOR SCOTT MORAES SURPRISINGLY MEAN
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